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Question:

Second chair in music?

So I'm only in middle school, but I'm already studying college work from my private teacher. I skipped a whole wad of grades in music. I'm studying some serious stuff. Whenever I perform in front of people, I mess up. I practice about four hours everyday, and EVERY SINGLE TIME it's perfect. But I perform just once in front of people and I mess up. I don't think I'm scared about performing in front of people; I'm just worried about my placement. Anyway, my teacher told me I'm part of the 1/10 of the people he's ever taught, and that 1/10 is all the extremely gifted kids. I also play the piano, longer than I have than being a percussionist, and I have also skipped grades. Recently because of me being nervous, I got second chair. I am a complete music freak, so second chair is extremely horrible for me. And I’m even more depressed now. I’m already depressed about other things, and this is making it even worse. So now I feel extremely stupid for getting second chair…so…what should I do??!

Answer:

Meico: Is it possible your musical ability has outpaced your public performance skills, which may be more typical for your age? When I was your age I was talented beyond my years, but in certain situations my body showed signs of nervousness. I had trouble playing guitar standing up because my knees would shake. This would only happen when the audience was very attentive. I guess I felt a bit under the microscope. In more casual situations my nervousness was mostly excitement, and I could deal with it. Here are two suggestions that might prove useful. When you're preparing for an audition, sit back in a comfortable chair in a quiet room. Close your eyes and imagine yourself performing. Pay attention to your muscles. Don't allow yourself to tense up. You're performing at your best, the listeners are hearing your best, and, although you may be a bit nervous, it is only impacting your performance in a positive way. Practice your pieces in your mind this way and - very important - accept that you are indeed this kind of performer, one who does well under pressure. If possible, find a critical audience or listener to perform for as a preparation for an audition. Think about it: it's easy to practice the music, but how do you practice being in front of an adjudicator? You might just have to carry on until you've auditioned enough times and gained enough experience to overcome the problem. Good luck.
Sep 30, 2017
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Sep 30, 2017

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