adult playing anxiety

Sara said: Jun 3, 2010
191 posts

I have a 24 yr old student who loves to play. She is in the intermediate leve, played in high school orchestra but not a lot of private lesson expereince. She has a sever case of anxiety when she tries to play in front of anyone even me. She’s been with me for two years. Her goal to to play in fron of someone but she simply can’t bring herself to doing it. Even in a low pressure situation such as a rest home or for a friend.
Any suggestions on how to overcome this as an adult? Kids are much easier to handle with this.

“What is man’s ultimate direction in life? It is to look for love, truth, virtue, and beauty.” Dr. Shinichi Suzuki

said: Jun 4, 2010
 145 posts

Oh my god I have the same problem with a 30 year old pupil. She’s intermediate standard as well and shakes so much at exams I’m really concerned for her as her standard just plumates, when she’s playing to people and it’s so accute I’m worried it’s going to make her quit. I think a lot of bow work is usually required and confidence in bowings and sound is really helpful and also playing to and with other players. I’m getting mine to play duets with my other adult pupils. Suggestions on this subject would be really great for me too.

Kirsten said: Jun 26, 2010
103 posts

Have them try a book called The Inner Game of Music by Barry Green. It is based on tennis pro Timothy Gallway’s concept that there are two games. The outer game is the one we play with our bodies (for instance pulling a bow or hitting a ball.) The inner game is the self talk and judgment that we give to ourselves about how we seem to be playing the outer game. There are basically, according to this theory, two identities in all of us. I think Gallway called them “self one” and “self two” if I remember it correctly. Self one tends to be very unkind to self two, and it is possible to trick the mind into turning it off. This is the goal of the inner game. If the inner game is not understood, it can have an effect on our physical as well as emotional state.

A few years back my piano teacher loaned me this book, which I once upon a time had read and must have given to someone else. Even though I was familiar with the concepts, reading it again calmed me.

I hope this helps.


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