Welcome to another installment of my weekly blog. This blog will address one of a performer's most daunting fears: performance.
If you are at least 10 or older, you've no doubt dealt with being in front of other people. You may have played on a sports team, done public speaking, given a presentation, or led a meeting. Nothing about being in front of people is easy at first.
Notice that I said: At first. Yes, there are some people who are naturals but the large majority of us would rather have a root canal than be up in front of a group of people.
Why is that?
It's probably because we all have an innate self-preservation trait that says: I don't want ANYBODY seeing what I'm really like!
Let's dispel a couple of the reasons why we have this crippling fear before we talk about performing in front of others.
The first fear to deal with is the one that says: What if I screw-up? This may make you feel better: Everyone screws-up! You will not be the first and you won't be the last.
Let me tell you a little story. Several years ago a band that I had played in was in front of a large group of people for a time of city-wide worship. This was no small event. In fact, we had practiced for quite a while getting the music down well so as NOT to screw-up.
I went to start one of the first songs only to be in the wrong key. Oh no! Heaven and earth must be crumbling down because I did that. No one would ever want to hear me play again, right?
Nope. I just stopped and started over in the right key. No damage done except to my ego.
The second fear to dispel and I believe the biggest one is: What will people think of me?
Here's the answer to that: Who cares! Yes, who cares! Are you playing for all of them or for yourself and like me, for a God who loves me? Then what does it matter?
Here's the great thing about the God who loves you and I, He's tone deaf when it comes to music!
He hears us through His ears of love and just appreciates the talents He's given us.
What a freeing feeling!
Now that those two great fears have been deflated, let's move onto performance in front of others.
If you've read any of my previous blogs then you may already know what I'm going to say.
The only way to play well in front of others is to yes, practice! The old saying: 'Practice makes perfect', really does apply here.
You need to build your confidence to play well and the only way to do that is to go to the proverbial woodshed and work it out. There is NO other way. In fact, I knew musicians in music school who would spend up to six hours a day practicing. That really isn't necessary for most of us, but whatever works for you is good.
Don't be bashful about getting in front of others and using your instrument. You might be surprised how well it goes!