Robert Estrin - piano expert

Performance Anxiety: You Believe What You Say to Yourself

How to avoid this common problem among musicians

In this video, Robert gives you tips on how to relieve performance anxiety by avoiding negative self-talk.

Released on July 21, 2021

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DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

Familiar theme of, a little embellishment there for you. Hey, I'm Robert Estrin. I just thought I'd bring something to your attention that is really, vitally important, which is performance anxiety, avoiding negative self-talk. You know what? You believe what you say. I've seen this happen so many times with performers and it's not just in music. It's in everything in life. Whether it's sports, whether it's an interview, whether it's public speaking, it doesn't matter. You believe what you say in your head to yourself. Like if you say, "Oh, I know I'm going to bomb this performance." Guess what's going to happen? You're probably going to. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy because you believe what you've told yourself. So you've got to be careful what you say in your mind before a performance or, "Oh, I always screw up in this place," or, "Oh, I think I'm going to be really nervous for this."
You have to change your thought process into being able to project and envision a positive outcome. Imagine yourself at a performance, playing with all the details of what you want, coming out successfully. Live in that moment in your head. Close your eyes, breathe deeply and meditate on that moment, so when you get there, it's familiar and you've already set yourself up for success. It's so vitally important. This can go from anything from your piano lesson to a job interview. Imagine yourself sitting there and having a positive experience and just keep that in your head and in your mind. And guess what? If you start telling yourself, "Hey, I can do this. Yeah, this is going to go okay. I feel good about this." Then it's going to have a good repercussion. Once you start that negative, self-talk, it's a spiral that's really hard to get out of. So be careful what you say to yourself. It will manifest itself either positively or negatively. It's really important in musical performance and in life itself.
Hope this is helpful for you. It's a really good lesson for all of you. Hope you enjoy these videos. Again, there's a shorty for ya, just a little tip. I'm Robert Estrin here at Lots of videos for the subscribers and my Patreon special content. Thanks for joining me. We'll see you next time.
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