Playing my instrument in front of my peers...?

For my high school band class we have to play a musical piece in front of the band for our midterm. I play the clarinet and i play a quartet piece with other clarinets in the group.

I am very afraid that I'm going to get nervous because during the holiday concert I became very nervous while playing the concert because i sat on the end of a row and the whole audience could see me. My heart began to race and was pounding against my chest and then my lips and eyes began to twitch uncontrollably so much that i couldnt play while it happened. It stopped once i got under control of myself about halfway during the concert.

I am very afraid that this will happen when i play in front of my peers in the school band. My part of the quartet is probably the easiest part so im not afraid of messing up. I am just afraid that i will get nervous like i did in the concert because everybody is looking at me. How can i stop myself from getting freaked out while i play?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Practice playing in front of as many people as you can. Practice in front of friends and classmates.

    Also, don't worry so much about the people watching you. Consider when you are listening to someone play. Are you listening for wrong notes or thinking mean things? Nope. Neither is anyone else! Every single musician in that room knows how hard it is to play in front of the class, and they all just want to hear you do your best. This line of thinking helped me greatly with my own nervousness in front of people.

    Another trick I like to use is this: find a friend in the crowd, have them sit in the front if possible. Pretend that they are the only person in the room, and play for them. If you look up (which you probably won't anyways, you have to stare at the stand, right?) only look at them!

    Finally, my band director taught me this trick. It is natural to be nervous, so before you play that first note stop and take a deep breath. Get focused, and think about something silly, like a fluffy bunny or something that reminds you of a happy memory. Now that you are relaxed and focused, look at your first note. Think about only the music, and then play! This way, you are sure that from note number one you are focused on only the music and not on any of the distractions, like the people in the room. Trust in yourself and the other clarinets in your group.

    Good luck!

  • 1 decade ago

    It would appear that you have a bit of stage fright. I am first the chair violinist in my orchestra's first violin section (or concert master if you are aware of the term), so I definately know what it is like to feel that nervousness.

    One major influence of stage fright is your mindset. In other words, if you are confident and relaxed, you'll play beautifully. I believe the key to that is this: take a deep breath before you begin and clear your mind. Then after you start, really get a feel the piece. If you know it well and are certain you won't mess up, there is nothing to worry about at all.

    Don't even bother thinking about the audience, you have more important things to think about during a performance than them. Lol. Play for yourself. Enjoy the music, and have fun while performing, that is all that really matters.

  • 1 decade ago

    I am a music major so I have to play music a lot in front of ppl. One time in class we were practing a sonata and I was playing the piano, which is the most important part in a sonata -usually. Anyway I was suppose to be playing in the chord of A, but I realized I had been in C. I still sometimes get those chords mixed up. Anyway... We all just laughed about it. What I am saying is that if you mess up it won't be that big of a deal. I didn't even get nervous about it. But music is my passion. Just don't let ppl intimidate you. It is all about you and the instrument.

  • 1 decade ago

    remember that everyone gets scared before a show. i still get scared playing the piano in front of people/friends and it's been more than 5 years..

    i try to concentrate more on the music than the crowd. if you concentrate on the amount of people, you get more nervous about it. try breathing in and out right before you start, not like a breath so you and play your clarinet, but big deep breaths.

    also, remember that you're with three other people, and not playing alone when you do your midterm. so you're not the only one people are staring at.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I play in front of music classes alot, so hopefully I can help. Try not to think about everyone in the audience. Concentrate on your music piece and not the audience. Remeber, these people aren't going to be trying to point out every little mistake you made, they just want to hear you play. If you make a mistake, move on and forget about it . Good luck!

  • 1 decade ago

    You know that you are going to be nervous, which is a good start. Up until the day of the performance, imagine yourself playing in front of groups of people. Try to arrange to play in front of some of your friends or family! Let me know how it goes!

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