I really enjoyed reading a Guardian article this week entitled “It’ll be alright on the night: how musicians cope with performance stress” - not least of all because it highlighted a number of points that I’m constantly reiterating, and it’s always nice to hear someone agreeing with you!
It’ll be alright on the night...
One thing that didn’t excite me so much was the title but let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that “It’ll be alright on the night” is an example of a maladaptive way musicians deal with performance stress; the article certainly doesn't purport this as a successful technique but it does highlight an underlying cultural issue with our approach to performance anxiety: the ‘just get on with it and it will all work out’ approach. (hint: it doesn’t work!)
Overall I think the article highlights the genesis of my message - you don't have to put up with performance anxiety wreaking havoc on your performances!
Here are some of the key messages from the article: