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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Get rid of them shakes!

This is it, the moment I've been dreading...or one of the moments I've been dreading: playing violin in studio class.  The only moments that beat it are playing violin in a department recital and playing my "final", in front of a jury.

This is the moment that I doubt my major.

I absolutely hate performing in front of people.  Practicing in front of people, I'm okay with.  The expectations are different.  Lesson time, I'm okay with.  The expectations are different.  Practicing with an accompanist, I'm okay with.  The expectations are different.

But not performing.

The expectations are high...so high that they go over the rainbow and out of our orbit.  They know I'm performing.  They know that I have been working hard on this.

And they are impatiently waiting for me to blow them away with my results.

Maybe I'm blowing this out of proportion...but I know that this is how I am when I'm getting ready to hear someone perform.  I expect them to be amazing!  You don't get up and perform something you don't know, you get up and perform something you've been working hard on for weeks, or even months!

If I can trick myself into thinking that studio class is a lesson, hopefully I can get through it without shaking.  (My bow shakes very, very obviously when I'm nervous.)

I know I need to get over this...I'm a violin performance major for heaven's sake............but I can't just "get over it".  I can't...it doesn't work like that.

I don't work like that.

Go ahead, laugh at me.  I know you want to, if you're not already.  The violin performance major is scared out of her pants to play in front of people.  So?  What's the problem with that?  I'm not in this major to perform, I'm in the major to be the best that I can be so that when I go to Africa, where they will see me as the best (and the only) violinist they (most likely) know, I want to give them a proper taste of violin.  I want their view of violinists to be accurate.

I'm in this major to learn about techniques with every instrument I can, how to be a better musician, so that I can teach the Ugandans.

I'm not here to be the next Joshua Bell.

But I still have to stop shaking, because performing isn't going to leave until I leave the school and can say no without thinking about my grade.  But who knows!  Maybe by then I'll be okay with it.

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