David Leisner: Conquering Performance Anxiety

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Just reviewing some old articles and came across this one by David Leisner on his website titled: Six Golden Rules for Conquering Performance Anxiety. It is reprinted by permission of the American String Teachers Association, copyright, Spring 1995.

This is an excerpt, read the full article at: davidleisner.com/guitarcomposer

It all begins when our minds wander. Some distraction, usually minor, occurs,
and we become less and less able to concentrate. The results are nervousness,
memory lapses, technical errors and general discomfort with and, ultimately,
fear of performing. The whole mess can often be avoided quite simply by
thinking a few essential thoughts before going on stage. A few years ago, after
experiencing a string of unpleasant performances much like the description
above, I did a lot of soul-searching about what kinds of thoughts and feelings
were distracting me in performance and what advice I could give myself to
counteract them. The result was Six Golden Rules that summarize issues crucial
to successful concentration in performance.

I meditate on these a few minutes before going on stage. Ever since the
beginning of this practice, I have had very few concentration lapses in concert
and have found performing to be far more fun and satisfying than ever. In
addition, my students and all those with whom I have shared these ideas have
had similar benefits, and have been astonished at how quickly their
performance anxiety dissolved.


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