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Dissertation on Music Performance Anxiety/Stage Fright.

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Re: Dissertation on Music Performance Anxiety/Stage Fright.

Postby OneWorld » Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:16 pm

At one point in my life I spent considerable time in various parts of Central America, and there were venues where the band really did perform behind a protective fence, I don't know whether that helped the performers overcome stage fright, knowing anything thrown at you wouldn't hit you, but of course, wouldn't stop you getting shot though :-)
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Re: Dissertation on Music Performance Anxiety/Stage Fright.

Postby Guest » Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:12 am

Most of the times, the audience won't notice your frightened, I will advise you to keep on performing and thrilling your audience frequently, with time you will get over it.
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Re: Dissertation on Music Performance Anxiety/Stage Fright.

Postby The Red Bladder » Sat Jan 11, 2020 11:29 am

I once worked with a female rap star who used to fart copiously out of fear before starting to perform.

The smell on stage was eye-watering!
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Re: Dissertation on Music Performance Anxiety/Stage Fright.

Postby Ariosto » Sat Jan 11, 2020 2:11 pm

I'm not specifically looking at anyone on SOS who has so far contributed, but there is a huge amount of bull*** spoken about this subject in at least the last 100 years.

I've worked with soloists, orchestral players, chamber musicians, and people performing in "light music" and even the Jazz world, and the reasons for nerves (stage fright) are endless. Mostly it is physiological. All sorts of remedies have been tried, from beta blockers to marathons and other physical experiments. None work. Only confronting the problem by facing it front on (i.e. going on stage or whatever), will eventually overcome the problems. Old age helps as you get to a carefree situation where "what the F****" helps as you gradually leave this world. But by then you are past your sell by date so it really doesn't matter!

Young people often do not suffer, but as they get older and realise just what they are doing, it suddenly hits them. (Example - Yehudi Menuhin).

Surveys are a waste of time as you would need 10 billion every year and they would even then, not give any answers, as there are no answers.
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Re: Dissertation on Music Performance Anxiety/Stage Fright.

Postby ManFromGlass » Sat Jan 11, 2020 2:28 pm

The Red Bladder wrote:I once worked with a female rap star who used to fart copiously out of fear before starting to perform

So you didn’t need a bass player?
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Re: Dissertation on Music Performance Anxiety/Stage Fright.

Postby CS70 » Sat Jan 11, 2020 2:31 pm

Ariosto wrote: Only confronting the problem by facing it front on (i.e. going on stage or whatever), will eventually overcome the problems.

Insofar I understand, there's a small but not insignificant percentage of people for which even this doesn't work - and never overcome stage fright.
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Re: Dissertation on Music Performance Anxiety/Stage Fright.

Postby MOF » Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:56 pm

One thing I was told repeatedly as a youngster, which has always stuck with me, is that when performing in public you are never performing to a crowd. You are performing to 1 person. Granted, there may be a lot of 1 persons, but the relationship between you and them is still 1-1 when it comes down to it. You're playing, they're listening as individuals.

I don’t do live work, I prefer to compose/record, but I would find it more intimidating singing to a very small audience than a large one.
That way you can keep engaging with lots of people at a distance, not just look back at a few people in close proximity.
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Re: Dissertation on Music Performance Anxiety/Stage Fright.

Postby Ariosto » Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:49 pm

CS70 wrote:
Ariosto wrote: Only confronting the problem by facing it front on (i.e. going on stage or whatever), will eventually overcome the problems.

Insofar I understand, there's a small but not insignificant percentage of people for which even this doesn't work - and never overcome stage fright.

Yes, that is true. Some people can never get over the problem, although with the right help it is sometimes possible. But surveys don't help.
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Re: Dissertation on Music Performance Anxiety/Stage Fright.

Postby DC-Choppah » Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:48 pm

The Elf wrote:I'm finally at peace with stage fright - it's still there, but I perform through it, and I actually think I need it; it's a friend that reminds me I'm only as good as the last part I played correctly!

Stage fright is the state of realizing that you are not prepared and that you know there is no way to become prepared suddenly. Hence panic. Stage fright is a message to be listened to.

Fear is a healthy and natural response to a situation for which you are in that you are not prepared for. Or that you know you need to be in a certain state of anxiety to stay aware of the potential negatives. Like driving a car for example.

You can't cure it and it is not a negative. It is a signal. You have to listen to its message. It is telling you that you need to be more prepared to play in that situation.

Psychotherapists use amplification of people's problems to be able to analyze them and uncover their message. By embracing your problems you can discover their message.

If you squash the fear (with drugs, etc) you never uncover its message and never learn its message, never adapt and grow.

I was fortunate to know someone who toured with a very famous and popular singer who was terrified on stage. Everyone gave her ways to squash her stage fright. But this person (a dancer) simply told her that she can't sing very well and she must know it, and that nobody is willing to tell you that!

She got singing lesson, worked on her chops, became better and her stage fright diminished down, like the Elf says, and it reminds her to keep practicing.

If anyone tells you that stage fright is a problem to be solved, that is the wrong way to look at it. Try to instead uncover its message. Your body does not speak in words.
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Re: Dissertation on Music Performance Anxiety/Stage Fright.

Postby stavrakas » Sun Jan 12, 2020 12:05 am

Dave B wrote:I’m actually quite interested in the dissertation for the simple reason that I’m not convinced that there is a single cause - and, therefore, a single solution - to this. I used to suffer terribly until a friend said just the right thing and I’ve loved it ever since. But our female vocalist in one band is taking the long way round (baby steps) as she has suffered from imposter syndrome most of her life. So while there may be some valid mitigation strategies, I’m not sure that there is a single quick fix ..

For anyone who is interested in the psychology of performance and performance anxiety the ISM has a number of resources available on its website i.e. free webinar https://www.ism.org/videos/manage-your-performance-nerves and piad for publication on the psychology of performance https://www.ism.org/play

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