Music

Competition Nerves…

Hey guys!

I know it’s been a while but the truth is I’ve been so busy with my A Levels and I just haven’t been able to write any posts that I’m actually happy to publish. But here goes…

On Thursday, I have a soloist competition. And I’m freaking out. Big time.

This is the second soloist competition I will do, the first being last year, just before I gained my Grade 8. I was so nervous that I thought I was going to be sick before I went on stage. I played one of my Grade 7 pieces that I knew like the back of my hand and I knew I could play it perfectly. But it still went wrong, and I know I could’ve done a lot better. However, it was my first ever competition so I was expecting to play my best due to nerves and to be truly honest, I was just so happy that I’d been able to get through the performance.

So a few weeks ago when my music teacher told our class about this competition, I was actually really excited. I feel like I’ve grown so much as a musician since this time last year and I’ve realised that I want to do music for the rest of my life. I just love performing. But that  doesn’t mean I’m not nervous.

Up until a couple of days ago, I was really excited and I couldn’t wait. But now it’s hit me that I have only done this once before and I’m not as good as I would like to think I am.

I’m playing a piece called ‘La Chasse Galop Brillant’ by Guill. Popp (anyone know it? If not, go and have a listen!) which I absolutely love and it sounds so impressive when it’s played correctly. So what’s the problem then, you ask? There are a few bars that I just cannot play. No matter how many times I practice them, as soon as I play them in context, it goes completely wrong and my fingers just don’t work.

I was talking to my flute teacher about it in my lesson this morning and she simply told me to stop practicing that piece for a couple of days. I’ve been so nervous that I’ve been over-practicing the piece and getting myself very worked up about it all, when there’s no need. So maybe the answer’s simpler than I thought. Maybe I don’t need to spend hours and hours practicing the same bar that I know I can play but can never seem to play right in a full run-through. Maybe I’ll be fine on Thursday. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

Have any of you ever experienced anything like this before? Let me know about your competition nerves and how you deal with them. I’d love to hear all of your stories.

See you next time,

Katie x

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