TK DePauw lecture 9-29-21 stage fright

September 27, 2021 at 10:42 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Stage Fright/ Performance Anxiety/ Positive Attitude/ Reach for the Stars.

When young children approach Yo-Yo Ma after a concert, they often say, “When I grow up, I want to be a musician.”He always replies, “Well, I am sorry my friend, but you can’t do both!” 

He believes keeping a “childlike approach” to new things is essential to being a “working musician.” 

[*1] “You need unfettered imagination.”  As people ‘grow up,’ they often lose their openness, and grow afraid of being exposed, being judged or being ridiculed. 

By the way, YO YO MA just completed another concert at Hollywood Bowl 2 weeks ago of the 6 Bach Suites and has recorded them in his 20’s, then in his 40’s and lately in his 60’s.  What a master he is.     

[*2] THERE ARE THREE KINDS OF PEOPLE:   

THOSE WHO MAKE THINGS HAPPEN,—   

        THOSE WHO WATCH THINGS HAPPEN,—-  

            &   THOSE WHO WONDERWHAT HAPPENED.

CAVEAT:   Make a deal with me, ok? WHEN I TALK ABOUT STAGE FRIGHT, If you don’t have it, don’t start thinking about having it!  PROMISE?    (say I promise!)

I will introduce myself quickly and please allow me to “model” the behavior I want YOU to have – FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.

Go back to your early years. Whom do YOU thank for lifting you up. for believing in you, for challenging you, for getting you to that NEXT STEP?

My MOTHER believed in me, so I started singing publicly at age 4.

[*3] “GO FOR IT!”  And I have been “going for it” for 72 years.

I am so lucky that someone (thank you Dean Hoke) believed in me enough to hire me at age 76.  I am so lucky I was asked to sing in four DIFFERENT operas in the last 4 years!  MOST opera characters are young, handsome, lovely!  ages 20 – 45 or so!  VERY FEW are roles of old men, WOW I’m lucky!!

I thank all of those people on whose shoulders I now stand.

Faculty, Administrators:  Please stand.  You STUDENTS are now the luckiest ones BECAUSE YOU have all of these shoulders to stand on, all of these “cheerleaders,” all of these brains, all of these dynamic personalities behind and under you to lift YOU UP!                                                                    

Are you PERHAPS feeling a bit inadequate when you hear the older students in your studio?  DON’T!!   Enjoy them and their successes, run out and get a copy of their “coolest” piece and see if you are ready to tackle it.  Ask them how much they practice.  Ask them if they ever had doubts.  Ask them what “LIGHTS A FIRE UNDER THEM.”   Ask them for tips on how to practice, when to practice, how much to practice (TIP: it is NEVER enough!!)

[*4] FAILURE = LEARNING = WORKING= SUCCESS  Irene Kassorla                                                                                  

Many of us sit alone and begin to question ourselves, especially when we move into a NEW SITUATION.      —DEPAUW is that new situation.  Freshmen, look to the sophomores, sophomores look…. You get the idea.   I am guessing that the seniors- as they arrived 3 years ago – had some misgivings,   some thoughts of “am I good enough?  YOU ARE, –ALL OF YOU ARE– GOOD ENOUGH!!!   You OWE it to yourselves to take advantage of all we here at DePauw School of Music have to offer.  You DESERVE all of these chances.

—-Demonstrate situations that can be negative:

–BAD Reeds, old strings, mouthpieces, out of tune, sticky valve, sticky key, needs a little repair, should have bought a better one, dim LIGHTING, wobbly MUSIC STAND, = all stage fright possibilities for instruments.

–Singers = a different breed!  WE ARE OUR INSTRUMENTS.  When anyone suggests something to us, we think   oops!       I am wrong, I goofed  I have no instrument to blame it on!       I AM MY INSTRUMENT!!

In other words, we ALL have situations that can make us question ourselves, our talents, our worth.  I am here today to tell you how to rise above it, go beyond it, just

[*5] GO FOR IT!!

A Few Physical Problems Caused by Stage Fright

Pounding Heart – Trembling Knees – Cold Sweat – Nausea – Dry Throat –

Teary Eye – Runny Nose – Cramps – Temperature Change – Stammering –

Muscle Tension – Dizziness – Urge to Urinate – Fidgeting – Urge to Cry –

Throbbing Temples –Fatigue – Blushing – Stiff Body – Giddiness –

Tiingling Hands & Feet – High Blood Pressure –  Failure to See & Hear Clearly – Fainting!

  (Luckily You’ve Never Had All These at the Same Time!!)

How to Overcome Stage Fright

Remedies:

Have a Specific Routine Before Performing– e.g. Be alone, review tempos, styles, the three most difficult passages, don’t talk to other players and joke about things! 12* (numbers refer to my thesis pages)

Slow Deep Breathing fools the body into believing that there is no danger (no fright), sit in a quiet place, eyes closed, concentrate on breathing evenly. 14

Sit, Concentrate on tip of nose and inhale slowly, 14

Place Hands on stomach and inhale and exhale slowly 20 times, 15

Perform difficult passages several times, the “grooving” on performing it correctly will overcome the few times it is performed incorrectly, 15

Fight or Flight?  Both use “breathing/breath.” AIR is needed  to run away OR stand and “puff yourself UP and fight.” Think of black cat puffing up and standing “sideways to “look bigger!!”

Stage Fright from being fearful, fearful when one senses an emergency, what is the emergency?  Audience not clapping, not approving, 20

Call It stage vitality, stage excitement, not stage fright, 30

[*6] Perpetual Optimism is a Force Multiplier (Powell)

Anxiety is caused by attitude, not reality.  Mind tells us “be afraid,” it can tell us positive too!! 22

When You Perform Alone, it goes well, but add an audience and it becomes harder! 24, try performing “behind” the audience of the class, not in front of them, then beside them; ease into performing with them watching.

Anything worth doing has uncertainties and doubts, and challenges and exhilarations.  Dare to take risks to show creativity, (Barbara Sher)  30

[*7] Failure = Learning = Working = Success, 27

Relying on teacher too closely, and then suddenly, being cut loose, the only one on stage.  During your lesson, take part in decisions of tempos, dynamics, decide interpretation with the teacher, not totally dependent ON the teacher.  29

BACKSTAGE : [get a student up]   Go to zero, then blow up your being, your personality, your will to succeed.  You will TAKE the stage, the room, front, sides, below, above, behind.  The audience has NO SPACE, YOU have ALL the SPACE.  WHEN YOU THEN ENTER THE STAGE, you ARE IN CHARGE physically, mentally, emotionaly!!!

Six Ways to Prepare, 32

Technical Work practice and listen for dexterity in scales, messa di voce, types of articulation styles, tone quality, pronunciation, etc.

Musical Work- notice style, dynamics, tempo, articulations.

Pedagogical Work- “an exercise you cannot master immediately allows you to encounter and extend your limits.”  Present your best of the present!!  Reverse teaching.  Groove theory.  Prepare for best and worst possible outcomes.  Imaging process (imagine being good!), play a duet with what is in your head, jazz up the piece, improvise on the given piece, record the original and play duet with self, practicing privately one can play with abandon.

Interpretation- personal interpretation, characterization, ride tennis ball over the net, continuous tone, word colors, moods, etc.

Communication- wanting to serve the public, share artistry, passing the music on to them, perform often to be able to transmit to audience (it doesn’t always translate from practice sessions), always perform for an ideal audience (they will love it!!!)                                                               Personal Philosophy- positive attitude, meet challenges with energy, the best of the present, have a plan, constantly change it until it is just right.

Other Remedies

Go in the hall, try to become nervous, find your limit.Then you know nervousness can’t go over!

If tense, repeat trigger words to create inner calm, “move, flow, give, release, pulse, unite, power”

Tense and release muscles and muscle groups.

Breathe through sole of feet, sense backs of eyeballs.

Thinking one is bad OR is in danger- mind takes over. Let it take over the positive way instead, think “no danger!”

Use pleasant images to replace the “bad” ones– Colorado, school’s out, win lottery, new car, etc.

Have mantra word to concentrate until negative leaves.    I CAN, I CAN.     [*8]  READY! FIRE! AIM!

Judge yourself ONLY with moderate thinking, not polarized thinking. Use 75%, sometimes, often, in some cases, seldom; rather than “ALWAYS” or  “NEVER.” 

Think about problems by using he, she, you – not I. Step back, intellectualize the problem, don’t be “IN IT.”

Admit problem, accept it, then challenge it.

How to use audience to advantage:  Amplify each one!!

1)  Friendly (attentive, will clap correctly, will appreciate the music 2)  Inquisitive (will want to be educated)                                                                  3)  Subservient (will be unfamiliar with music, will not have practiced, cannot perform as well as you can, need to be instructed and entertained, “I,” the performer, am above “you,” the audience.)

4)  YOU are active, AUD. is passive. YOU are standing, AUD.is  sitting, YOU are in the light, AUD. is in the dark, YOU know everything, AUD. knows nothing!

5) Be angry at audience

6)  Make fun of them

7)  Audience of equals (they will appreciate your efforts)

8)  Dependent on audience (gain energy from them, they can invigorate you.)

MORE             Learn from failures- a child falls many times before he walks.

Be nice to yourself-   you would help a colleague, why not help yourself?

[*9] HOW YOU DO ANYTHING IS HOW YOU DO EVERYTHING. –OPRAH

Stress inoculation, small doses at first, then more and more

Anytime you “fail,” learn from it, analyze it, write down what happened, begin to correct problems. 

ALL QUOTES AGAIN! [*1] “YOU NEED UNFETTERED IMAGINATION”        [*2]  THERE ARE THREE KINDS OF PEOPLE—THOSE WHO MAKE THINGS HAPPEN—THOSE WHO WATCH THINGS HAPPEN & THOSE WHO WONDER WHAT HAPPENED!!  [*3&5]  GO FOR IT!      [*4&7]  FAILURE = LEARNIING = WORKING = SUCCESS  [*6]  PERPETUAL OPTIMISIM IS A FORCE MULTIPLIER       [*8] READY!  FIRE!  AIM!   [*9] HOW YOU DO ANYTHING IS HOW YOU DO EVERYTHING. –OPRAH                                                      

 [*10]   BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.     [*11]  Have a POSITIVE ATTITUDE.      (END OF FORMAL LECTURE)

CAREERS:  Listen carefully to advice, BUT DON’T follow all of it.  Decide what is really right for you, Ask questions, Seek out people who do NOW what you want to do in the future. What their jobs are like?

[*10] Believe in yourself   [*11]  Have a POSITIVE ATTITUDE

QUALITIES OF A LEADER (TEACHER) (WINNER)  (SUCCESSFUL PERSON)

STRONG ENOUGH TO ADMIT WEAKNESS

 SUCCESSFUL ENOUGH NOT TO FEAR FAILURE

   WISE ENOUGH TO SAY, “I DON’T KNOW”

      COMPASSIONATE ENOUGH TO DISCIPLINE

         MATURE ENOUGH TO DEMONSTRATE CHILDLIKE HOPE

           ORGANIZED ENOUGH TO BE SPONTANEOUS

               COMFORTABLE ENOUGH TO BE ANONYMOUS

                   STABLE ENOUGH TO BE EMOTIONAL WHEN JUSTIFIED

                      LEADER ENOUGH TO BE A SERVANT

Read only the underlined words. Conversely, read the ENTIRE phrases!!

HERE IS THE ENTIRE YO YO MA QUOTE.   When young children approach Yo-Yo Ma after a concert, they often say, “When I grow up, I want to be a musician.”He always replies, “Well, I am sorry my friend, but you can’t do both!” He believes keeping a “childlike approach” to new things is essential to being a “working musician.”  “You need unfettered imagination.” As people age, they often lose their openness. Ma says, “We grow afraid of being exposed, being judged or being ridiculed.”

TK–I hope you observe me as I teach. I love these subjects, languages, these composers. I love seeing you explain a fact, express an opinion, understand a concept, a pronunciation, a mood. GO FOR IT!!!! Don’t be afraid of being exposed, judged, or ridiculed. Play, sing, soar, speak. I really appreciate your learning new pieces. Infuse YOUR personality into them. Enjoy yourself. Send us a message. Offer what Yo-Yo Ma calls, “unfettered imagination.”     

[*]    MORE QUOTES            CLARA SCHUMANN LETTER      newly discovered!

May 6, 1851  to Mrs. Falk, whose daughters were studying with Clara.

Artists must have “perseverance, diligence and interest.”  But also “the warmth, the soul, the passion which must transport the player to such a state that he completely forgets himself and his surroundings.  This is what impresses the public and attracts it again and again to the artist. That is the true inspiration from above…      ”How cool to be contacted from Clara!!!!!

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be ignited.” ~ Plutarch

*TO ALL MUSIC MAJORS & PERFORMERS –Pledge to practice and excel.

 “If this were a medical school, and you were here as a med student practicing apendectomies, you’d take your work seriously BECAUSE you would imagine that some night at 2 AM someone is going to waltz into your emergency room and you’re going to have to SAVE their life.

Well, my friends, someday at 7:30 PM someone is going to walk into THOMPSON recital hall and bring you a MIND that is confused, a HEART that is overwhelmed, a SOUL that is weary. Whether they go out WHOLE again will depend partly on how well YOU do YOUR craft..” TK shared from Karl Paulnack, piano faculty, Boston U.

“I WANT TO BE WHERE THE MUSIC COMES FROM, WHERE THE CLOCK STOPS, WHERE IT’S NOW. I WANT TO BE WITH THE FRIENDS AROUND ME WHO HAVE FOUND ME, WHO SHOW ME HOW”— Lee Hoiby, famous American composer AND lyricist for this song, whose mentors were SAMUEL BARBER & GIAN CARLO MENOTTI.   Hoiby sure was LUCKY!!!

Habit forming Hints for Success    (put a check by statements that you ALREADY do) P. 55

_____Read every assignment BEFORE going to class, do EVERY assigned exercise.

_____Review assignment soon AFTER going to class, begin new assignments soon after class.

_____Visit EACH ONE of your professors.  Show them you care to understand the material and do well in the course.

_____Visit with professors to whom you are not assigned.  Find out what their specialties are.

_____Go to class regularly.

_____Sit in the front of the classroom, near the center (the zone of participation!).

_____Take notes.  Develop an understanding of what is being said. Rewrite notes and develop a summary. 

_____At the first sign of a problem (academic or personal), talk with someone (professor, counselor, private studio professor, advisor, tutor, trusted friend, etc.).

_____Balance classes with work, practice, meetings, study, party time, etc.

_____Be sure to set aside time for relaxation and fun.

_____Set blocks of time for practice and study, just as you have blocks of time for class.

_____Use a calendar to keep track of assignments, meetings, rehearsals, deadlines, etc.

_____Stay healthy. Get enough sleep.

_____Set specific goals for 1 day, 1 week, 6 weeks, this year, 5 years, etc. (why are you here?)

_____Ask questions. Take part. Get the most out of every lesson, every class, every meeting.

Success means a lot to you.  Remember, Failure = Success.    How?

Failure = Learning = Working = Success (Kassorla)

Perpetual Optimism is a Force Multiplier (Powell)             TK’s book for AIMS participants   p. 55

Leave a Comment »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: