Your heart pounds, palms sweat, muscles tighten, stomach flutters, knees wobble, hands shake, and voice cracks. Your hands and feet go cold as your breathing stops and mouth goes dry. Butterflies turn into nausea and diarrhea as your brain fogs and vision blurs. Your sense of time accelerates out of control.
And that’s not all. Your arms, hands, and fingers feel disconnected from each other and your instrument feels like a stranger. Disoriented and in sensory overload, you are consumed by feelings of failure and incompetence. Hijacked by forces beyond your control, all you can do is clench your teeth and go along for a horrific ride that feels like an eternity. You want to curl into the fetal position and never play again.
THIS IS NOT why you signed up to play music. It is tragic indeed for something you love so dearly, to be a source of such agony. So, what can we do about it?