SPONSOR AD:BLUE LANDSCAPES   ~   Music from a Quieter Place | ROBERT THIES (piano) & DAMJAN KRAJACIC (flute)  >> LISTEN HERE

Problem about anxiety and confidence

Basics of Flute Playing, Tone Production and Fingerings, Using Metronomes, Scales, Tone, Studies, etc.

Moderators: Classitar, pied_piper, Phineas

Saoirse.kels
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:22 am

Problem about anxiety and confidence

Postby Saoirse.kels » Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:10 am

I've been playing the flute since 6 years old and now I'm 18. Before, I was only like playing around with this instrument but after learning more about it and classical music, I've decided that even though I'm not a professional player, I still wanna take the matter in a serious attitude (started around a year and a half ago), and here comes the problem.. I noticed that a lack of confidence has been lingering on me ever since. In recent years, I've been learning more about the right way to breathe, opening my throat, keep air support strong, etc. But I'd say I'm a rather easy-to-panic type of person. I'd get really anxious esp when i have to play solo within a group of people (band/ orchestra) or in front of an audience and sometimes even on lessons in front of my teacher (who I've been learning with for the past 9 years) :?

When I'm practicing alone, I'm able to remind myself to do all the right things, like, keep the throat open and try to project the sound through the head, not to tighten the lips, etc. But whenever I'm panicking, all of these will be gone, my throat becomes so tight that the air stream can't even flow smoothly, my lips becomes very tense and I lose my air support. All that's left is my anxiety and some notes waiting to be screwed up... I often end up blaming myself and giving myself a feeling that my playing always awfil :cry: It's like the more I want myself the sound good and take the matter seriously, the worse I would sound and anxious I'll get. Sometimes it even feels like I've lost the confidence to play it in front of people even my family..

Is there any suggestions for me to boost my confidence and also to remedy my body's reaction towards my anxiety when I'm about to play?

christielea
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:50 am

Re: Problem about anxiety and confidence

Postby christielea » Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:31 am

Hey there,
I'm sorry to hear you've been feeling so anxious when playing. But I want to say you are doing SO well trying to overcome your fears with the techniques you described. Your feelings of anxiety are obviously a result of wanting to play at your absolute best. So we need to find a way to use this drive and passion to your benefit!! Instead, at the moment, it's working against you...

I've done some research on music performance anxiety and talk through some ways to manage it, (all based on the latest psychological research) in an article I've written.

Read it herehttp://www.theflutecoach.com/beat-music ... e-anxiety/

You are definitely not alone - most people suffer from nerves, but if it's gotten to the point that it's affecting your playing, it's time to take some active steps to overcome it.

Maybe have a read of the article and get back to me - I can dive deeper into the studies I referenced to see if we can find a solution for you.

Keep up the awesome work :wink:

Saoirse.kels
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:22 am

Re: Problem about anxiety and confidence

Postby Saoirse.kels » Mon Jul 03, 2017 5:28 am

Thabk you for your reply, Christie! I've heard that an appropriate level of anxiety is actually healthy for the performance on stage it's just I always fail to keep it at the medium level before it shoots right to the top level:$ Some of the advices in the link u gave me sound rather interesting, though! I hope I will be able to force some positivity into my mindset before it drowns into endless anxiety and stress :?

I think I get the most anxious when it comes to those relatively "harder" notes like C#, C etc and I have to play softly. I just get really freaked out and throat tighten with rapid heartbeat whenever I spot these places on the score.. I gotta play Polovtsian Dances on Wednesday, and I play the second flute part in the melody at the beginning of the piece. Everything is fine during rehearsals except that C#! I've been including long tones in my practices but the situation didn't seem to hv improved much:(

SylvreKat
Posts: 133
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:56 am
Location: KC metro

Re: Problem about anxiety and confidence

Postby SylvreKat » Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:10 am

If it's a general fear of performing alone, then maybe Toastmasters will help? It's actually an organization for speech-givers, but their intent is to help people become more comfortable getting in front of folks and presenting a speech. Seems like their techniques should transfer to playing solos, too. My big bro has been a member for many decades now and swears by them. You might see if there's a group near you and check out a meeting or two, and see what you think.

>'Kat
Flutes:
1975 Gemeinhardt M2 in chrome nickel
1982 Armstrong 80
2006 Yamaha 584

Piccs:
1978 Artley piece of crap 15 P
1982 Gemeinhardt 4S
1980s (?) Armstrong all wood (no model)

Bass:
2006 Jupiter di Medici G0199

Plus many many flute-cousins....

SylvreKat
Posts: 133
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:56 am
Location: KC metro

Re: Problem about anxiety and confidence

Postby SylvreKat » Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:23 am

Btb, I would get so nervous in middle school when everyone had to play an assigned section alone (my director's version of a test) that I eventually gnawed off all the nickel plating on the cap of my head joint. I'm trying hard to think how I got past it--I think maybe I finally realized that I knew the music and there was no point in making myself so worked up. That, plus the only people listening and judging you are folks like the actual judges at competitions. Nobody in the band is sitting in judgement (or if they are, they do not matter in any way to your playing it's just spite). Your director wouldn't have you play the solos if s/he didn't have faith in your skills. Your teacher is judging, but only to help you become better yet. The audience is there to listen to and enjoy the music, not to find faults. Heck, I played at church after a massive sinus headache developed when I could not breathe, and everyone still had nothing but praise afterwards (well, Mum could tell, but then she's my Mum and knows when something's wrong)

Just keep telling yourself this. Take deep breaths to settle yourself, then play. Trust in your skills and forget the audience. Focus on the music instead, on the feeling of it, on your happiness in playing it.

>'Kat
Flutes:
1975 Gemeinhardt M2 in chrome nickel
1982 Armstrong 80
2006 Yamaha 584

Piccs:
1978 Artley piece of crap 15 P
1982 Gemeinhardt 4S
1980s (?) Armstrong all wood (no model)

Bass:
2006 Jupiter di Medici G0199

Plus many many flute-cousins....

Saoirse.kels
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:22 am

Re: Problem about anxiety and confidence

Postby Saoirse.kels » Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:55 pm

Thank you so much Kat! I have an audition for a band coming up and I'll try my best to settle myself and put a little more faith in myself. Hope I won't get consumed by the anxiety like before!

SylvreKat
Posts: 133
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:56 am
Location: KC metro

Re: Problem about anxiety and confidence

Postby SylvreKat » Sat Jul 22, 2017 1:04 pm

You're welcome.

Did you have the audition yet? If so, how'd it go?

I thought of another thing that helps settle me--before piano solos in the jazz band, I say a little prayer to God asking to please not pooch the solo. And I take some of those deep breaths. And remind myself that nobody's judging me. And that I know the solo.

I know, an audition is diff and they ARE judging you. But I still believe in the power of settling and focusing on that you do indeed know the song. It's really hard to not dwell on "people are listening and JUDGING!" but you just have to try pushing those feelings to the back and letting the confidence of your knowledge fill you instead.

>'Kat
Flutes:
1975 Gemeinhardt M2 in chrome nickel
1982 Armstrong 80
2006 Yamaha 584

Piccs:
1978 Artley piece of crap 15 P
1982 Gemeinhardt 4S
1980s (?) Armstrong all wood (no model)

Bass:
2006 Jupiter di Medici G0199

Plus many many flute-cousins....

Saoirse.kels
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:22 am

Re: Problem about anxiety and confidence

Postby Saoirse.kels » Sat Jul 29, 2017 10:54 am

Hi Kat, actually I still haven't had the audition yet, cuz after a discussion with my teacher, we decided that joining the audition in Sept would be the best since I can then decide whether to join the orch in the university or the band I was initially going to join, but that's another issue haha

Anyway, thank you again for giving me another piece of advice! Indeed, I've always been dwelling on the idea of getting judged by the audience and that I'm always judging and criticize myself during practice sessions:$ But now that you've reminded me to get rid of these thoughts, I think it's high time I started controlling my thoughts and block those negativity that's always been binding me (tho I know it will really take much effort!)

I know that you play at church sometimes right? I do too, but often I don't really have the time to actually warm up.. It's actually just a simple piece but the idea of go straight off to "performing" without any warm up just freaks me out and gives me lots of insecurity, which also really affect my performance and myself after it :( Do u have the same problem? There are also some other kids of my age who play the flute at church (we take turns) and they seem to do alright even without any warming up (I assume) and it just makes me feel even worse honestly.. Is it just my over-worrying and self-doubting playing tricks on me? :?

christielea
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:50 am

Re: Problem about anxiety and confidence

Postby christielea » Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:24 pm

It's awesome that you are serving on the worship team at church. Remember when you play at church its a beautiful act of worship to God, and not so much a performance for people. (Remembering the 'audience' is also focusing on worshiping themselves, praying and seeking God, and less on the correct notes and rhythms!). Don't fall into the trap of comparing yourself to other people in your team. It's a subtle attack that is trying to undermine your confidence and derail your contribution to church. Keep up the great work!!

SylvreKat
Posts: 133
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:56 am
Location: KC metro

Re: Problem about anxiety and confidence

Postby SylvreKat » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:46 pm

Warming up for church--I will warm up really well beforehand. And of course we run through the song at least once. If I'm playing prelude then that's great! But many times I play at communion (used to be offeratory, but the kiddos do noisy offering now which is NOT conducive to any woodwind playing!). What I do then is cover the mouthpiece entirely and blow long and warm into the flute with all keys depressed. I'll do this periodically throughout the service (esp during hymns when there's no chance someone will hear ny huffing), doing more five or so minutes before I play. With my bass, I do LOTS more--that's a big chunk of metal to keep warm! Yes, you can worship and pray while exhaling into a flute :D

>'Kat
Flutes:
1975 Gemeinhardt M2 in chrome nickel
1982 Armstrong 80
2006 Yamaha 584

Piccs:
1978 Artley piece of crap 15 P
1982 Gemeinhardt 4S
1980s (?) Armstrong all wood (no model)

Bass:
2006 Jupiter di Medici G0199

Plus many many flute-cousins....


Return to “Flute Playing and Practicing Basics”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron