Relaxing Into Performance
It’s days before a performance! I’m listening to the music, preparing set lists, practicing very intently and diligently, and the idea of making it everything the audience and myself want it to be... well, can be anxiety-inducing. I experienced years of little to no performance anxiety, which felt amazing! When I went back to school to study music, I was reacquainted with performance anxiety. It was a nagging and unwanted stream of emotions that gripped me before I would play my violin for others. Thankfully, I wasn’t alone with these feelings. Peers and professors shared that the more one performs, the easier it will become. It wasn’t exactly the quick fix solution that I hoped for. But they were right. I already realized the magnificence of moving through the fear of singing in front of others, to doing so with great joy. In my experience, it was diminished and transmuted into excitement rather than fear. But here’s another important tool I’ve found that has soothed me tremendously during times of practice and performance: relaxing into the moment and playing for the enjoyment opposed to the expectations. What I’ve found is that I place a great deal of pressure on myself, to perform at a certain level. In doing this mentally, a physical reaction takes place in my body called tension. When I’m tense as a violin player, it makes it much more difficult to play fluidly. I have been trained and practiced for years for moments of gorgeous performance. When I choose to relax into the pleasure of making music and sharing my expressions of it, pressure is released. I’m then able to relax into playing and creating from an emotional space of frolicking. This light-heartedness and ease makes it so that I feel better when I perform AND I naturally sound better too. I’m so thankful for these tools and the opportunity to apply them when I’m feeling the unnecessary weight of my own judgement. I encourage you to try it out for yourself! The next time you are feeling anxiety from any kind of pressure, remember that you can experience a notable difference when you move from a place of ease, fun and appreciation. It’s not about just turning out a great product or service... it’s also about how you feel on the journey to get there!
Here’s to relaxing into performance, work, and all our dreams and endeavors! If no one has told you lately, I want you to know- I’m proud you!
All my Love,