The PTC UK
Dealing with Performance Anxiety: 5. Steps to Tackle the Problem
When we perform, we call on a different part of ourselves from when we practise or play for ourselves, because these are different activities.
In performance we need a feeling of abandon and spontaneity, of creativity and going with the punches, whereas practising relies on thoughtful, analytic procedures where we constantly evaluate, repeat and refine until we are satisfied.
In performance, we leave our inner critic in the green room and go into another state of mind once we are on the stage, one where we are not engaged in thinking, but rather in communicating the musical message as we see it to the listener.
We probably all know an excellent pianist who is not able to make the transition from the one state of mind to the other. While they may play wonderfully, they can’t seem to put themselves through what they perceive as the torment of public performance.
Fortunately, there are many steps we can take to tackle the problem of performance anxiety, some of which I outline in this video.
Graham Fitch, Principal Tutor of The Piano Teachers' Course UK
Based in SW London, Graham maintains an international career not only as a pianist, but also as a teacher, adjudicator and writer. His workshops and classes, which he gives all over the world, have received high praise for their creative and illuminating approach to the subject. He is the author of the successful blog, www.practisingthepiano.com, which has led to the publication of the Ebook series, Practising the Piano, and his online subscription site, the Online Piano Academy, which he founded in 2016.