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Old 10-29-2012, 01:06 PM   #1
James Laughlin
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Australia/New Zealand
Posts: 84
Default Nerves getting the better of Pipers and Drummers?

I recently attended a National Championship where performers battled it out individually to win the adjudicators favour. The pressure was certainly evident at the competition site - a small auditorium with stage lighting, trophies in full view of the competitors, judges sitting very close to the performers and a large audience.

The possibility of performers letting the performance environment affect their confidence was certainly evident. I sat back and took mental notes on the performers before, during and after their performances. It was certainly interesting to identify the physical reactions to the pressure. Some performers were noticeably flustered, whilst others were fully relaxed and at ease.

It is important to realise though, that the performance environment was 100% the same for every competitor. The temperature was controlled, the judges were the same, the requirements were the same and the audience didn't change. What was different though, was the perception of the surroundings that each individual created.

Some of the competitors looked like deer in headlights once they stepped on stage, this came across in their performance with a noticeable lack of composure. The most relaxed competitors were smooth and visibly confident.

We all create our own pressure through past experiences, the environment around us and our perception of our fellow competitors and adjudicators.

The most successful performers at the recent contest I attended where those who were extremely well prepared, accepted the competition environment, understood how to overcome their Stage Fright and coped with their adrenalin.

I hope those competitors that suffered from Stage Fright, Memory Loss or Fright will take the time to reflect on their experience and start to work on overcoming their Performance Anxiety.

It would be great to hear form other pipers and drummers about their personal experiences under pressure when performing in public.
James Laughlin
Author of No More Nerves
Scottish Drumming Lessons
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