Is it possible to build our music confidence? SURE!
Do you know that the problem is only one? Y O U
Sometimes you have your school, conservatory or just your private teacher and you feel quite good about your improving.
Every morning you wake up, within your mind to play your dozens of notes and after a long day practising, you got back tired, destroyed, without wanting to do anything more, but you feel quite good again, about your study.
Than your Concert/performance/audition is really close. Here arrive the problem most of all.
When you go to sleep, there are only failures, bad notes and disastrous performances in your dreams. Then you wake up, take your instrument in your hand and everything becomes real.
The sound is no longer as you would like, make stupid mistakes, you’re not well focused and just think that
“you’ll never make it“.
I can speak for myself.
I am an anxious musician and I envy and I respect those who can attend a solo performance with nerves balances, sometimes (this is my little secret) when I listen to a beautiful solo concert, I come to immerse myself in it and even in this case I get anxiety.
I know that’s a problem and because of this, I’m working on it.
What people like me have to understand and learn (to understand) that the problem is mainly in their minds (I know it is obvious). But we can solve it by training. This does not mean studying the instrument 20 hours per day (ok, after that you will be a monster surely) but it means learning to know our body/mind/hands/emotions through exercises.
Below I’ll leave you some examples and tips that I hope will help you/us, in addition, I’ll leave you at the end of the post a website that I’m following very willingly, which is set to solve problems on music confidence.
1. Be a commander.
The worst thing you can do is to raise big challenges without being prepared.
Measuring own ability is the perfect starting point for growing better. Do you want to do an audition? Perfect, choose the right one for you (not overdo) and learn what THEY want (the jury/orchestra/ensemble…). Try to get there with the mentality you’re ready to meet all your needs. As a commander in war, know your enemy before you fight.
2. Get ready.
It’s hard to build your music confidence if you don’t think you will sound good. Prepare yourself as much as possible to feel super ready. Each of us knows inwardly how much practice we need. But even in this case, don’t think that 24 hours a day can create your music confidence, after that you won’t have any more lips/breath/hands to play.
Check it out:
3. What is hidden behind?
Study what’s behind those notes. Personally, at the beginning of my studies, I left out what the notes actually wanted to express. Studying a piece of music doesn’t just mean learning by heart all those notes, it means understanding what happened to the composer at that time, what historical period we’re talking about, why he wanted to compose that piece and why in that way, to whom it was dedicated…etc.
Understanding what hides behind the pieces of paper in front of us definitely makes us more conspicuous during the performance.
4. Focus on solutions.
Yes, I admit it! I complain often. If I can’t do something (as I want) I get nervous. But guys, AHIME’/ALAS the solution to reach our music confidence is not to continue complaining, but rather to focus attention on solutions.
–My fingers are too slow, so, how can I solve this problem?
–I cannot motivate myself, therefore, how can I solve this problem?
–why do I always make a mistake in these jokes? What can I do to solve the problem?
This way of thinking will certainly save us time and energy during our practice, translated into faster results.
5. Develop your music confidence ritual.
Think about the moment before you get on stage, but even worse, when you are waiting for your turn. What can you do to boost your music confidence? This act is something that can be transformed into a ritual of trust. For example, you tend to take a deep breath, or do gymnastics, or some Yoga positions, or isolate yourself and repeat some bars of your piece. Find your ritual, for example, I have a lucky necklace, without that I already feel less confident (you think it’s stupid, but I don’t care because for me it works!).
6. Say “bye-bye” to the comfort zone continuously.
If building the music confidence is your goal, that’s exactly what you need to do. You must put yourself in situations where you are not in your comfort zone until it becomes comfortable (or more comfortable) and you are more confident of the situation. A post-performance self-evaluation is really good to write down some observations about your performance and work on it for the next time (The quality of your playing/The mental aspect of it). I am still working on this point. It’s not easy for me to expose myself, my nerves break easily and this is one of my biggest steps to take. But keep holding on Gaia!!
These are just a few of the tips that in my opinion are the basis of a solid music confidence.
Now I want to recommend something important:
bulletproofmusician.com is a site that I have found randomly turning on the web in search of this difficult topic of music confidence. Here I discovered a great person, who dedicated his life to the mental training of musicians like us.
He is called Noa Kageyama, he is on the faculty of The Juilliard School in NYC and the New World Symphony in Miami, FL where he helps talented musicians prepare for orchestra job auditions. He conducts workshops and “webinars” on performance enhancement and overcoming performance anxiety.
I strongly recommend to visit at least his website, it will definitely hit you!
I’m also very happy to tell you that this summer I’ll have the opportunity to interview Noa Kageyama and I’ll make you find his answers in a new post.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW.
Or, keep update on when the interview will come out, thanks to MusiView’s Newsletter!
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