Dealing with Stage Fright

The best performances I’ve given are the ones where I am wholeheartedly focused on the music and not about how nervous I feel. I still get nervous every time I have to perform in front of others and I don’t think the nerves will ever go away! What has changed over the years is how I deal with the nerves when they come. The question will always be, “Will I let my nerves take over my performance or will I drown them out with the music I have prepared?”

I believe it’s important to accept and embrace your nerves when they do come. When you acknowledge what you’re feeling, it gives you the freedom to decide whether you will let the nerves overwhelm you and impact your actions negatively or whether you will choose to let them go. Whether it’s the feeling of sweaty hands, stiff muscles, or butterflies ...

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Practice Performances

Starting this fall I will be holding regular Performance Classes throughout the year to provide students more opportunities to perform. Each student will come prepared with one or two songs to play then receive feedback on one technique or one section in the song they can continue to work on. Afterwards we will do a group activity together that involves either playing a fun music game or sight reading easy duet music. I will provide snacks and drinks and the performance class is open to students of all ages.

I enjoy these classes because it creates a sense of community among my students and it motivates them to see other students working hard at improving their skills on the violin. These classes give students an opportunity to practice performing in a relaxed and supportive environment.

While students are sitting and listening to each performance, they are instructed to make observations about each performer and work on active listening. They ...

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How to Practice

It is just as the saying goes, “you only get out what you put in”. For anyone to foster musical growth, they need to practice on a regular basis. There is always something to practice each week in order to master the art of playing the violin. To play the right notes with your left hand, your fingers need to get adjusted to the spacing of the tapes on the violin. To keep a straight bow, your right hand needs to get adjusted to the direction of the bow and your wrist needs to learn how to bend and flex with each bow stroke. To improve note reading, you need time to study and recognize the notes on a page then connect the notes you're reading with the correct fingering on the violin. Each of these techniques takes practice and repetition in order for your brain and your body to commit them ...

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Shooting One Arrow at a Time

I love Edmund Sprunger’s "shooting one arrow" approach to practicing and it’s something I constantly refer back to in my teaching. In his book Helping Parents Practice, he writes:

"As I have watched parents practice over the years, I notice that one of the primary ways they create nasty practices for themselves and their children is by attempting to shoot several arrows at once. ‘Johnny, good job getting the bow straight. Play it again and make sure that you also keep the speed even and remember to keep your pinkie round and to let the bow float off the string when the piece is over. And don’t be so timid!'

Overload. Just as a bow can only hold one arrow at a time, you’ll find that practices will be most productive if you remember that your child can only hold one thing to work on at any time." (page 64)

I ...

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Latest Posts

  • Dealing with Stage Fright

    Oct. 8, 2018, 3:54 p.m. / Tips, Practicing, Music, Research

    The best performances I’ve given are the ones where I am wholeheartedly focused on the music and not about how nervous I feel. I still ...

  • Summer Studio Outing

    July 24, 2018, 5:36 p.m. / Music

    Next month we are going to have our very first studio outing! Students and their families are invited to join us for a live string ...

  • Practice Performances

    June 25, 2018, 10:20 a.m. / Practicing, Music, News

    Starting this fall I will be holding regular Performance Classes throughout the year to provide students more opportunities to perform. Each student will come prepared with ...

  • We also play weddings!

    July 28, 2016, 10:19 p.m. / Music, News, Weddings

    One of the things I love about my marriage is that my husband and I get to play music together! My husband and I play as ...

  • How to Practice

    July 28, 2016, 10:13 p.m. / Tips, Practicing, Music

    It is just as the saying goes, “you only get out what you put in”. For anyone to foster musical growth, they need to practice on ...

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