Friday, February 22, 2019

The Powerful Weapon Against Nerves

"I don't know what happened. I thought I was totally prepared, but as soon as I walked onto the stage, I froze and felt paralyzed. Even after all of those hours of preparation, nothing seemed to be working as intended!" 

Although stage fright can be devastating, it is not a permanent or life-threatening ailment. Be encouraged. You can begin to exchange fear for confidence even under enormously high-stress situations.


So, what's the antidote for those "deer-in-the-headlights" moments? Is it more practicing, deeper breathing, more singing, more listening, more mouthpiece-buzzing, more thinking, or being super-resolute? All of those are important, but very likely your secret weapon has not been adequately utilized. 

Simply put, your enthusiasm for what you are about to perform must be greater than your nervous doubts. By instilling this mindset firmly on a daily basis, you will be building an effective strategy that will withstand the paralyzing trauma of stage fright. 

Bottom line. Strengthen your passion for music. Approach each etude, each excerpt, and each solo with a zeal for its musical message. Resist boredom. Inspired beautiful playing always matters. This applies even to your warm up. Aiming for musicality and expression is what fuels your success on stage and enables you to overcome nervousness. 

Your job is way more than just producing notes. It brings into play the very reason we are invested in music. Without a strong consistent dedication to music-making, we become easy targets for the assaults of the dreaded nerve giant. 



Thursday, January 24, 2019

Why not pretend?

Imagine yourself sitting right now in the most prestigious trumpet chair in the country! Nerves are not the issue here. We're looking instead at the benefits of having to produce at a high level with each note you play. With this in mind you will be on the fast track to becoming exceptional, distinctive, and inspiring!  

True, you're not there yet, but why not pretend? Go into your next rehearsal or performance with that mindset. Have the focus and musical drive to excel no matter where you are today. Make others notice. Play like you belong in the best trumpet section on the planet! Compete with the giants of the past.

What a great way to prepare for upcoming auditions! It's not a matter of fear of failure, but of a strong passion for consistently producing way-above-average trumpet playing. Now that kind of preparation will greatly reduce excess nerves and self-doubt. It will also make your practice sessions much more efficient.

Remember, your eyes are not on the enormous canyon below your feet, but on the glorious finish line. Success at the end of the concert is a standing ovation. An ovation not for you but for your wonderful playing. You inspired. You entertained. "You're hired!"