Well....I did believe my teachers when they told me that and it *does* get easier with time.
Is it easy yet? No, not for me. I am distracted by the eyes looking at me....waiting expectantly. I fear making a huge slip that I can't cover well enough. I still lack the experience of performing regularly to keep me desensitized to it. There just aren't enough opportunities where I am. I have no problem playing where people can hear me, such as a park or building lobby or somewhere where people are coming and going and not really paying attention to me. Just when they seem to be actively listening to me I start to feel self conscious.
I am scheduled to perform in a masterclass this Sunday.
I have been recording myself because pushing that red button makes me self conscious...just like a performance. We'll see how I do.
It is a head trip, CJ. You have to know in your heart of hearts that it is not about YOU. It is about the music. People want you to succeed. They want to hear a nice piece of music and hear the story you tell with it. See if you can convince them. See if you can show them how beautiful you think that piece of music is.
I want to do that. I want to do it enough that I will keep trying to figure out how to not be derailed in performance by hearing something I didn't like in my playing or being distracted by people looking at me. The music deserves to be heard. I DO have something to say.... now I just have to convey that to the audience so others will hear what I hear in the piece.
Performing is not a comfortable place for many of us in the beginning. For some, it never becomes comfortable. Once a year is not enough. I found that it took five days of performing in front of an audience twice a day for me to become desensitized where I was no longer nervous. That situation only occurs at the Summer Guitar festival I attend. All other times, the performances are at best several months or more apart. I know that makes it more difficult for me to get into the right frame of mind.
When the sun shines, bask.
Classical Guitar forever!