Preparation: Overcoming the Pressures of Performing

Mike Lawson • Archives • October 22, 2006

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By Lindsey Berthiaume

Okay, they called my name. I’m up! Checklist,… instrument, music,…music? Where’s my music?? Phew – it’s in my hand. As I am making my way up to the stage I can feel my legs shaking with each step and my palms getting colder as I get closer. This is the same feeling as the last performance. Why do I keep doing this? Why does my teacher make me do this?”

Indeed, why do we as educators provide our students with these anxious moments and opportunities? Is there a way to provide similar experiences through other venues or is performing the best preparation for life’s performances?

Throughout our lives we are required to perform, be it through presentations, relationships or academically. Preparing for a musical performance can aid one in developing the life skills necessary to execute these tasks. There are many aspects to preparation – from the physical skills to logistical planning – and each area requires a different set of life skills. In sports, teams and individuals train for an event as we do similarly in music. However, the one area that remains under wraps is the mental preparation necessary to prepare for these performances.

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