Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
Carlos Castilla
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Location: Fayetteville NC

Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by Carlos Castilla » Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:52 am

Rasputin wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:12 pm
Adrian Allan wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:56 am
Has anybody tried hypnotism, or does anybody think that hypnotism would work?
I can understand that they might tolerate all of that - but why anyone would want to manufacture a desire to perform, just to put themselves in that position, is beyond me.
Situations may vary. Here is my take on this.
I teach guitar and other classes at the college level here in North Carolina. I also have a private studio. From my experience, people-who don't necessarily want to pursue a career as a performer- find themselves in a performance situation pretty much by default. The system pushes music students regardless of their emphasis to perform on a semestral basis in order to get a grade. Students who don't major in music performance but music education, general studies, or even a minor in music instead, still need to have a principal instrument and perform a recital in order to graduate. For most of them it is a nerve-racking experience, but one that is important to have no matter what your emphasis is in your musical career. It is very formative for the future. Just people who end up as musicologists, theory teachers, or administrators can get away without performing at all later in life. Everyone else will need to deal with that in one way or another.
As for students who belong to.my private studio outside of college, I always encourage them to play at the end of the semester's studio recital, but it is not mandatory whatsoever. I try my best to make the occasion feel like a celebration, and to choose an adequate repertoire that will allow them to have the best experience on stage. The month before the recital we do recorded runthroughs and we invite family members to attend the lessons. This exercise helps them to overcome the feeling of self awareness that kicks in once you play in front of others. By the time the date of the performance comes "almost" everyone feels ready and do a great job. They end up having a great time and their families and friends in attendance feel great as well. I, as their teacher, am taking a risk as well, but a controlled one. I don't want my students to look nervous or embarrassed. That will make me.look bad and is not good for business:)
Having said that, definitely classical guitar is not for everyone. I am the first one to recommend to try commercial music or songwriter guitar style to those who don't find joy in classical guitar. But soon they will find out that even when they have to play chords to the lyrics of their favorite tune, if it is in front of an audience, they still will have to deal with nerves.
Here is an anecdote. I live in an area that has a vast military population. I have in my studio military people who have been deployed many times. I had a student once who was a Jump Master. Great guy. He used to show up for lessons late in the afternoon, and during the day he probably had jumped from am airplane 3 to 4 times training soldiers. And yet, performing Classical guitar in front of an audience was something that he found overwhelming. That shows us that is not the nature of the task itself but instead the sense of not feeling 100% in control of the task, what triggers an anxiety reaction. It is all about tricking our minds into believing that there is no uncertainty.
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Rasputin
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by Rasputin » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:27 am

lagartija wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:09 am
For me, playing is totally different than listening to music played by others. So I agree that that is certainly sufficient reason to play and performance is not a requirement. However, you did say that you don’t understand why someone would do it if they do not find it natural and easy, and I tried to explain why I would challenge myself. The confidence to face an uncomfortable situation you understood in the example I gave of martial arts. Why would you not accept that for me, performance is a slightly different challenge, but the confidence it takes, the focus it takes, the exposure of your vulnerability it requires is the same type of test.
I do accept that, but was suggesting there was more to it. I was speaking about people generally (though in response to your post) but was psychoanalysing without a licence and apologise if I caused any offence.
Carlos Castilla wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:52 am
Rasputin wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:12 pm
Adrian Allan wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:56 am
Has anybody tried hypnotism, or does anybody think that hypnotism would work?
I can understand that they might tolerate all of that - but why anyone would want to manufacture a desire to perform, just to put themselves in that position, is beyond me.
Situations may vary. Here is my take on this.
I teach guitar and other classes at the college level here in North Carolina. I also have a private studio. From my experience, people-who don't necessarily want to pursue a career as a performer- find themselves in a performance situation pretty much by default. The system pushes music students regardless of their emphasis to perform on a semestral basis in order to get a grade. Students who don't major in music performance but music education, general studies, or even a minor in music instead, still need to have a principal instrument and perform a recital in order to graduate. For most of them it is a nerve-racking experience, but one that is important to have no matter what your emphasis is in your musical career.
I agree with this, but although there are a few college students on here I am pretty sure that the vast majority are older and are not working their way through the college system. For most people on here, the only real issue is playing in front of a teacher, which is not a full-fledged performance by any means.
Having said that, definitely classical guitar is not for everyone. I am the first one to recommend to try commercial music or songwriter guitar style to those who don't find joy in classical guitar. But soon they will find out that even when they have to play chords to the lyrics of their favorite tune, if it is in front of an audience, they still will have to deal with nerves.
I am so disappointed that having made such constructive comments you go on equate finding joy in classical guitar with enjoying public performance.
Here is an anecdote. I live in an area that has a vast military population. I have in my studio military people who have been deployed many times. I had a student once who was a Jump Master. Great guy. He used to show up for lessons late in the afternoon, and during the day he probably had jumped from am airplane 3 to 4 times training soldiers. And yet, performing Classical guitar in front of an audience was something that he found overwhelming. That shows us that is not the nature of the task itself but instead the sense of not feeling 100% in control of the task, what triggers an anxiety reaction. It is all about tricking our minds into believing that there is no uncertainty.
Not logical captain. All it shows is that a guy who can jump from an aeroplane can still be nervous performing in front of an audience. The explanation is just your hunch - it is not there in the data. It could be right, but I for one doubt that confident performers believe that there is no uncertainty, when every concert reminds them that there is. I think it's more about not minding the uncertainty.

Carlos Castilla
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Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:05 pm
Location: Fayetteville NC

Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by Carlos Castilla » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:49 pm

Carlos Castilla wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:52 am
Rasputin wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:12 pm

I can understand that they might tolerate all of that - but why anyone would want to manufacture a desire to perform, just to put themselves in that position, is beyond me.
Situations may vary. Here is my take on this.
I teach guitar and other classes at the college level here in North Carolina. I also have a private studio. From my experience, people-who don't necessarily want to pursue a career as a performer- find themselves in a performance situation pretty much by default. The system pushes music students regardless of their emphasis to perform on a semestral basis in order to get a grade. Students who don't major in music performance but music education, general studies, or even a minor in music instead, still need to have a principal instrument and perform a recital in order to graduate. For most of them it is a nerve-racking experience, but one that is important to have no matter what your emphasis is in your musical career.
I agree with this, but although there are a few college students on here I am pretty sure that the vast majority are older and are not working their way through the college system. For most people on here, the only real issue is playing in front of a teacher, which is not a full-fledged performance by any means
.

Thanks for clarifying this. Yes, I see what you are saying. I have several older students and just playing their pieces in the lesson can be quite a challenge. However, those with more experience in the past generally tend to overcome those issues
Having said that, definitely classical guitar is not for everyone. I am the first one to recommend to try commercial music or songwriter guitar style to those who don't find joy in classical guitar. But soon they will find out that even when they have to play chords to the lyrics of their favorite tune, if it is in front of an audience, they still will have to deal with nerves.
I am so disappointed that having made such constructive comments you go on equate finding joy in classical guitar with enjoying public performance
.

I didn't say or imply that with my comment, sorry. I was just stating the obvious. Most people who seek guitar lessons don't know about classical guitar. That is a fact. I have taught many teenagers whose parents wanted them to study classical guitar because in their opinion is a more educated and formal training. Their kids would rather play rock or pop tunes if play at all. When that kind of student is confronted with the idea of playing in recital, the outcome is not very good. If I don't allow the kid to play in the recital, the parents generally don't feel to good about it.
Here is an anecdote. I live in an area that has a vast military population. I have in my studio military people who have been deployed many times. I had a student once who was a Jump Master. Great guy. He used to show up for lessons late in the afternoon, and during the day he probably had jumped from am airplane 3 to 4 times training soldiers. And yet, performing Classical guitar in front of an audience was something that he found overwhelming. That shows us that is not the nature of the task itself but instead the sense of not feeling 100% in control of the task, what triggers an anxiety reaction. It is all about tricking our minds into believing that there is no uncertainty.
Not logical captain. All it shows is that a guy who can jump from an aeroplane can still be nervous performing in front of an audience. The explanation is just your hunch - it is not there in the data. It could be right, but I for one doubt that confident performers believe that there is no uncertainty, when every concert reminds them that there is. I think it's more about not minding the uncertainty.
[/quote]
I disagree. Controlled risk is one thing, uncertainty another. A professional player can not have any uncertainty at all. That doesn't mean that some mistakes cannot happen or that some notes can sound not as clean, but in general a pro player can audiate and visualize the program from top to bottom without any surprises. In case of a memory slip, they can fix it right away jumping ahead.
As I said before and believe deeply, the higher the awareness of the music the less room for anxiety.
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Rasputin
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by Rasputin » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:59 pm

Carlos Castilla wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:49 pm
I am so disappointed that having made such constructive comments you go on equate finding joy in classical guitar with enjoying public performance
.

I didn't say or imply that with my comment, sorry.
Good to know that's not your view - must have misread you.
Here is an anecdote. I live in an area that has a vast military population. I have in my studio military people who have been deployed many times. I had a student once who was a Jump Master. Great guy. He used to show up for lessons late in the afternoon, and during the day he probably had jumped from am airplane 3 to 4 times training soldiers. And yet, performing Classical guitar in front of an audience was something that he found overwhelming. That shows us that is not the nature of the task itself but instead the sense of not feeling 100% in control of the task, what triggers an anxiety reaction. It is all about tricking our minds into believing that there is no uncertainty.
Not logical captain. All it shows is that a guy who can jump from an aeroplane can still be nervous performing in front of an audience. The explanation is just your hunch - it is not there in the data. It could be right, but I for one doubt that confident performers believe that there is no uncertainty, when every concert reminds them that there is. I think it's more about not minding the uncertainty.
I disagree. Controlled risk is one thing, uncertainty another.
We'll have to agree to disagree on that one, I think.

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Andrew Fryer
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by Andrew Fryer » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:02 pm

nothing extroverted about brass players
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Karen
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by Karen » Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:36 am

Playing for an appreciative audience is always considered the pinnacle of why we play music but I think there is another side to it which is really more important. My hero has always been my husband’s uncle. He built a soundproof room for his Grand piano and, although I was told he was a concert level pianist, he refused to play for anyone. He is now in his nineties, living in assisted living, and has an electric piano in his room. The point is, he always played for himself and for years has been strong enough to not be forced into performing when he doesn’t want to. Playing music well is a very focused task and I think for some people that is enough. Sort of like yoga, a meditation-like activity that doesn’t really need an audience (does anyone watch yoga?) That’s not to say performing isn’t a wonderful option for many - but not for everyone.

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Peter Frary
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by Peter Frary » Sat Nov 18, 2017 5:33 am

After some decades I've grown weary of live solo performances, although I direct/conduct regularly. I still love playing—more so than when was obligated to perform—and enjoy audio and video recording of my pieces and the classics. Recording is performing albeit indirect and you get as many takes as you need!
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dory
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by dory » Sat Nov 18, 2017 5:03 pm

I don't like performing and probably never will. Does it get better? Yes. I was terrified of people hearing me sing. I joined a class that gives group voice lessons. After 2 years I can get through singing for my classmates without being terroriized. However, i have sung--often-- since I was 1 or 2 years old. I get more nervous when I play the guitar. It is not as bad as it used to be. I now play at student recitals with only minor nerves, although that may change as I have one coming up,am not ready and was too sick to practice all last week. Recipe for...... Yesterday I went to a classical guitar open mic. Usually there are quite a few pretty good players, even if they may be using the event to practice for something else and not playing their best-- yet repertoire. Last night, a series of people not at their best, followed by someone who I am absolutely positive is not on the forum or I wouldn't say this, who plays well but is overconfident and plays things way too hard for him. A very very long series of Chopin for the guitar-- played pretty badly, and obviohsly arranged for a concert player. This is partly a problem for me because I adore Chopin but prefer him on the piano, but also it makes me uncomfortable when intermediates (like me) feel they have to play advanced repertoire-- badly-- rather than sounding great on a Sor study or something a bit harder. I have never before felt I have spent an evening being intolerant of other people's playing. Obviously I was caught in a bad mood. It makes me wonder though. I was about to play at the open mic. Will I be putting audience members through what I experienced? Yuck! Mostly guitar is for myself. I don't think anyone should HAVE TO perform. Why? if we don't like it.
Dory

mainterm
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by mainterm » Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:33 pm

This thread is an interesting read. So much of the discussion is around being able to perform well, conform to expectations, deal with "nerves" and so on.

One may be an accomplished, polished, and relaxed performer who tours for a living and still dislike performing. Sounds miserable, but possible yes?

Let's assume for sake of argument that you - guitar player extraordinaire - can confidently stride onto the stage, sit before many, many people and perform your pieces flawlessly, confidently, artistically and so on. Do you still dislike performing? I think in this scenario it is perfectly fine to dislike performing.

I personally think there is something just odd about getting up on a stage to entertain these often random people sitting there in a darkened room. I have performed a lot in the past and even did a graduate degree in performance and the more I performed, the more odd I thought the whole thing to be. This now goes both ways for me - I don't really enjoy watching people perform either.

I like "performing" at weddings though. It doesn't feel odd at all.

In another vein: I think that performing as a pedagogical tool is very important. Having students practice performing is a powerful means to improve their playing. Even just getting them to play for a video camera...

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