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Stage Fright..How do you cure it..
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (5 votes) 
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Crazymotive
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September 27, 2013 - 7:03 am
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I wouldn't advocate the use of a drug to relax. It just simply isn't something that can be sustained indefinitely while remaining healthy at the same time.

 

I certainly wouldn't either. And certainly not for stage fright.  Stage fright is something that you simply have to learn to overcome without drugs.  It takes a while but people do overcome it as they get used to playing in front of others and develop greater confidence in their performing skills.

In my case I was referring to the use of medication to treat severe and medically diagnosed anxiety (panic attacks) that I get from time to time, although less frequently than I used to. . But I certainly don't advocate medications just to relax or just to overcome stage fright. In fact as I mentioned, playing the violin, either alone or in a performance with others actually helps me to relax. When I am playing the violin and/or performing with others, be it a rehearsal or an actual concert I tend not to get anxiety attacks The art of playing the violin and making music acts as a natural relaxant for me. I hope it does for others too. Doing something you really enjoy is like a natural "medicine". 

 

 

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Fiddlerman
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September 28, 2013 - 9:33 am
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I'm really happy this is a place in which you feel comfortable enough to post your videos Toni and I'm glad the tips helped as well.
This is a great thread and is beneficial for way more players/performers than one would imagine. We have a few more like it on our forum as well.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Crazymotive
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September 28, 2013 - 1:03 pm
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What causes stage fright to begin with ? When we perform around others we want to be at our best, we want others to walk away with a positive impression of ourselves.  I think stage fright has a lot to do with a fear of failure, that we will make glaring mistakes, not be at our best, not sound to good and people will react negatively, we envision them thinking to themselves or speaking among each other "this person is a lousy player", "this person stinks", or, perhaps even some being bold enough to come forward and tell us that.

 

It reminds me of what I used to call "school fright". I am sure most of you have experienced "school fright" as children and young adults. The teacher goes around the room picking people at random to answer questions and you suddenly feel those "stomach butterflies", you start to sweat and you hope and pray that you are not among those who get picked. Again, I think it is that fear of failure. You will get called on and fail to be able to provide a correct or reasonable answer and you will be embarassed as the teacher looks at you with disgust and your friends and classmates laugh and say to each other "boy, what a dummy".

 

Another place I experienced extreme "school fright" was when I was in graduate school and I got a teaching position. I was lecturing undergrads and those first few days in front of the room were terrifying for me. That nagging sense of failure, of ridicule and the constant fear that my fear alone will force me to forget thins and ultimately I'd screw the pooch.

The good part is that I found that fear quickly goes away when you build confidence in yourself and your abilities. As you go through the experience of doing whatever you do in the presence or in front of others you gradually start to realize that all those things you fear and that terrorize your mind are not going to happen.  As time goes on it starts to become second nature to you and you just do it. It is only a temporary condition attributable to a specific cause and in time it goes away. Unlike chronic anxiety which has no apparent cause and can occur spontaneously, stage fright is rooted in a fear that is tangible and can be realized, rationalized and dealt with. 

I think the same holds true for playing music and stage fright. Early on its a new experience and we fear the worst. But as we repeat the process and build confidence it manifests itself less and less and eventually, hopefully, disappears entirely.

I am not saying I'm 100% right on all the above but that is my take on it and seems to coincide with my own experiences with that type of fear. Some say that a certain amount of performance anxiety is normal and will always exist. For some that may be true as well. After all we all want to be at our best.

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fiddlinsteudel
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September 30, 2013 - 5:10 pm
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Something you can do is to admit you are nervous to your audience. I think it takes some of the tension off of you and can lighten the mood. 

 

Also if you are playing with other musicians seek solace there, look at them, listen to what they are playing smile at them and talk to them.

 

Smile.

 

Practice performing in front of people.

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