If you ask anyone who has played music for most of their lives they will surely have at least one experience that was a complete disaster. You must remember that we are only human and sometimes mistakes can and will happen. This blog is designed to keep you in a good mindset with a persistently positive attitude even in the face of failure.
The whole draw of a live performance is to see the randomness of it all. People don’t go to Nascar races in hopes of NOT seeing a crash. Watching a trapeze artist at the circus is something we watch for both the entertainment and the thrill of the prospect of something going wrong. With any live performance there is the element of chance, and it’s something that draws us all in; you never know what will happen next – both good and bad!
The problem is that even though the performers might be confident in their abilities, they can still succumb to random events which end up in failure. There is nothing worse than practicing for a performance and putting in a ton of work only to go onstage and bomb. In a situation like this, ask yourself whether or not you really bombed or you just think you bombed?
Remember this, when it comes to a performance; the things you perceive as wrong aren’t always problems for the audience. Most of the time they won’t know any better – even if you failed in your own mind the audience might have thought you did perfectly well. Even though you might be upset about it, it’s not something you should share with the audience. You must keep these emotions to yourself and put on a happy face when the show is over. You certainly don’t want to point out mistakes and flaws when nobody else noticed them. It is an insult to the audience to tell them they are wrong about their perceptions of the performance. They came out of their house, traveled to where you were playing, sat there for a length of time, they enjoyed the show and they are going to leave happy. The worst thing you could do is put them in a bad mindset once they are about to leave – it is a mistake to let them know what they just dedicated time (and possibly money) to was something you weren’t pleased with yourself; why would they ever come back?
Sometimes failing can be an excellent thing overall. Sure, in the moment it’s going to feel horrible but it’s something you can look back on later and strengthen weak points. It’s a great learning experience. After all, it’s only music – nobody is going to die (unlike a trapeze artist!).
Another thing you will want to avoid is letting mistakes overcome the entire performance. Mistakes happen and the worst thing is to get into a negative mindset which can precipitate more problems – it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy! If something happens during a performance, move on – don’t dwell on it. Focus on where you are in the piece and perform as you know you can. Mental attitude is half the performance and you must maintain your sanity and control.
If you have a performance that ended up badly, the next performance should be low stress. You should put yourself in a comfortable atmosphere and play like you know you can. Maybe an in-home concert, maybe just play for friends to remind yourself how talented you really are. Nothing will build your confidence more than playing in situations where you know you will succeed.
Thanks again for joining me, Robert Estrin Robert@LivingPianos.com (949) 244-3729
If you ask anyone who has played music for most of their lives they will surely have at least one experience that was a complete disaster. You must remember that we are only human and sometimes mistakes can and will happen. This blog is designed to keep you in a good mindset with a persistently positive attitude even in […]Read More