All profit supporting special needs music education and Help Musicians

Stage Fright

Ivan

Undecided
Café Supporter
Messages
7,903
Locality
Peeblesshire
I was listening to Derek Jacobi interviewed on the radio last night and he was explaining the effects of severe stage fright (started in him during his 370-oddth performance of Hamlet and persisted at it's worst for two years and can still creep up on him)

I was interested to learn that stage fright proper can be a deeply disabling, almost pathological condition that seems to afflict actors when they are in mid-life and at the height of their popularity and professional prowess

Is this something described in musicians to the same dramatic extent?
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Café Supporter
Messages
6,465
Locality
Whitchurch, North Shropshire UK
I know several experienced musicians who have given up solo performance because of the stress and distress it caused them. One said he would get palpitations and become physically sick. This is usually referred to as performance anxiety, but it's the same thing I suspect.
 

TimboSax

Deputy junior apprentice 2nd class
Café Supporter
Messages
932
Locality
Cambridgeshire
I've had nerves before, but never what I'd call stage fright (which, I would agree with tenorviol above, is a whole other level and seems to present similarly to acute anxiety).

Some pretty big names in music have reported it: Streisland, Carly Simon, Pavarotti, Van Halen, Segovia, Etta James
 

SopJob

Member
Messages
86
Locality
Stuttgart region, Germany
Hi,

recently, Daniel Hope, celebrated violin player, gave an interview for a German radio station. In the interview, he said that quiet a few artists, especially soloists, took beta blockers to curb anxiety.

This means that the problem also affects musicians independently of their ability or the type of music that they play.

Regards,


Frank.
 

Targa

Among the pigeons
Café Supporter
Messages
9,495
Locality
KIC 8462852
I've had nerves before, but never what I'd call stage fright (which, I would agree with tenorviol above, is a whole other level and seems to present similarly to acute anxiety).

Some pretty big names in music have reported it: Streisland, Carly Simon, Pavarotti, Van Halen, Segovia, Etta James

I assume that by 'Streisland' you are referring to Ms. Barbra Streisand; which reminds me that some years ago no matter how many times I saw her name I always thought it had an 'l' in it.
Which was probably why she never answered my letters, although I did receive a restraining order.
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Café Supporter
Messages
8,783
Locality
Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
People, people who stalk people, are the luckiest people. . . . in the world . . . .:)
 

TimboSax

Deputy junior apprentice 2nd class
Café Supporter
Messages
932
Locality
Cambridgeshire
I assume that by 'Streisland' you are referring to Ms. Barbra Streisand; which reminds me that some years ago no matter how many times I saw her name I always thought it had an 'l' in it.
Which was probably why she never answered my letters, although I did receive a restraining order.

Yep, Barbarella Streisland, that's the fella
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Café Supporter
Messages
6,465
Locality
Whitchurch, North Shropshire UK
From a relatively young age (14) I had to stand up in front of an 'audience' and present short papers (the astronomical society I was a member of had a policy of asking someone each week to talk on a subject for 5 minutes). A few years later I was secretary and having to address the monthly meeting of 70 or so people. So, I've been used to 'performing' in front of people.

I didn't start singing until 20 years ago and performing in choir has never caused me any anxiety. More recently, playing cello in orchestra has similarly not been an issue. The only anxious moment was being asked to sing a duet last year, which was nerve-wracking. This year, when asked to sing in a quartet in a concert, I was the strongest voice and I just went for it. It's not my preference, but I can do it if necessary.
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Café Supporter
Messages
8,783
Locality
Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
I have never had "performance anxiety" to the point of being a disability. My teacher taught me to "overlearn" the piece I was to perform which means to keep practicing and repeating it long after it is mastered. That way, he explained, when the waves of nervousness start rocking the boat, the reflexes take over and keep it afloat to the end of the piece. Another thing that helps me is to become totally absorbed into the music and shut out everything else including the audience. Playing with that degree on concentration and intensity takes practice, but it really pays off.
 

Pyrografix

Senile Member
Messages
1,020
Locality
Sunny Aberdeenshire
My teacher taught me to "overlearn" the piece I was to perform which means to keep practicing and repeating it long after it is mastered. That way, he explained, when the waves of nervousness start rocking the boat, the reflexes take over and keep it afloat to the end of the piece.

Similar advice from another tutor - "Don't practice until you get it right..... practice until you can't get it wrong". Works for me most of the time!

I'm fine performing in an orchestra where its possible to hide behind other players, but the exposure of playing alone or with just 'backing track' is almost unbearable!
 

Members online

Popular Discussions

Top Bottom