Performance anxiety

In my experience - and I suffered from -severe- performance anxiety for many years! - these issues can be overcome by:

  1. altering cognitive patterns - substituting more appropriate ones
  2. altering the physical states - this directly affects the mental states

Physical and mental states are interdependant.
Physical and mental states are interdependent.

Both approaches have worked for me - not always and not perfectly - but they work - and at least every gain I make is my own. Having done something once - you know you can do it again - you have invested in yourself and increased your capability.

You really don't want to suppress or quell your nervous energy, it is a sign that you are alive... and sensitive . This should be regarded as an asset for someobody playing music. Dull, calm and plhegmatic people often give dull, calm and phlegmatic performances.

"... you have invested in yourself and increased your capability"

What you want to do is learn to "transmute" the nervous energy into excitement. Hopefully excitement about the music you are performing.

The "nerves" before a performance are a postive asset once you learn to direct them. Think about the adrenalin rush you get (hopefully) if you see a bus coming towards you.

Physical and mental states are interdependant.
Anxiety expresses as muscular tension.

What do you do? Take beta blockers and chill out? I hope not. You want to jump higher and run faster than ever before. Well you can run in music too. It's all based on movement after all and we are wired for movement.

Let me I have _no problem at all_ with people using prescribed drugs for diagnosed mental problems. None at all. I have seen in people the difference they can make in quality of life.

I would just recommend that a performer explore a reasonable number of other options first. It's not a perfect world - one of my reasons for not recommending it is practical. If you came to _rely_ on beta blockers - then couldn't get them before a performance you'd be "stuffed" as we say down here - out of options.

Unleash your potentialities.
Unleash your potentialities.

Musical performance is a vehicle for the growth of human potential par excellence.