About nerves and the rationale behind them:
Almost all the top players and touring artists started to perform really early in live. They come from educational systems that prepare musicians from an early age. Children who aspire to go to music school full time are selected even before they can play anything, based on physical attributes and intuitive musicianship. Where they come from, going to music school is not for everyone. And then in order for them to move up to the next level from elementary to middle school they have to pass an excruciating exam, same goes for high school.
By the time these kids are 17 years old, they have a huge repertoire, several.years of competitions, juries, auditions, concerts, etc... under their belt. Performing in front of an audience is part of the job, it is what they were trained to do, what they look forward to do, what they expect to be doing on a regular basis, otherwise why would.they have spent all.those years of sacrifice and high level of training? They subsequently will spend their late 20s, 30s and up monetizing on their early years' efforts.
That level.of skill is what guarantees a concert promoter that the recital will be successful and to a manager that his client will perform consistently well. Tickets can be sold with confidence, recitals can be aired live on TV, good reviews will happen, you name it.
People.who started later in life, say, 15 and up, and not necessarily in a full time music school will not have the same chances to achieve that level of skill and confidence. There are several exceptions though. But generally, just like learning a second language, music and performing becomes a native tongue when developed early in life. After a certain point, 15 years of age or so,we don't have the same neuroplasticity.
The feel of uneasiness that people who started late in life experience, loosing sleep, etc...before playing a recital, jury, or audition, is absolutely logical and natural. It is the awareness of knowing that there is a task ahead in which you don't feel in complete control. Even if you know the music well and have played it to perfection in your room, you know deep inside that once you are on stage, you don't really know how you are going to react. You don't know if your memory will fail you, or your hands are going to be shaky, cold or sweaty. It is a gamble, and even if it goes without any major accidents, one has to wonder if it had enough artistic merit. It is about the odds. It is about having or not having those years and years of training that put your brain at ease, because the task is so familiar, that you can visualize it.
There are other things to consider as well. For example, children who start early in music school grow up surrounded by a reality in which making music for a living is completely accepted and even appreciated by their parents, family, and community. Generally, these musicians grow up.in societies that put a lot.of value in music and arts. In other words, they grow up with complete reassurance in that what they pursue for a living has a value.
On the other hand, you have the university music schools, accepting kids with almost no training at all, who don't know what is like to be a musician and who are debating with the idea imposed by society that music as a career is a joke compared to engineering, law, medical school, etc... They probably have also struggled with their families trying to convince them that music is a respectable career choice. A typical situation of a family gathering is people asking what does a musician do for a living, and if music should.only be a hobby etc...
That situation doesn't help either.
So,...,if performing is what you want, then you have to do it as often as possible and playing pieces that are in your comfort zone. Pieces that you can play in your sleep, and that allow you to express your musical ideas easily. Doing that helps to develop positive memories of success and achievement. The feeling of looking forward to do it again. It would put the odds in your favor.
Staufer 1830 Replica by Scot Tremblay
Andres Marvi 2015