K so i have to play this song called Rondo (by Haydn) for my performance exam piece at school (i'm in grade 9).
my problem being this: i have some serious problems playing completely along in front of a bunch of people. i always play it perfectly alone but then imess it up on the performance itself.
remember that nerves are normal, nothing wrong with being afraid to play in front of people, but remember, they WANT you to do well and are with you, much like if you are in a sporting event, so keep that in mind..
playing the piece with a metronome without stopping is good practice, also, go through the music very slowly
Here's what I do, go over the hard parts (even if you got it) very slowly and repeat that a number of times. Maybe use the metronome for those parts too.
Then, go through the entire piece with metronome, slowly. Then gradually gain to a comfortable speed.
Then at the end of practice, try to play the whole thing without stopping ONCE at least twice in a row with the metronome at the right speed. After that, pretend that you are playing in front a thousand people (literally walk out of the room, enter, bow...lol), and try to play perfectly with no mistakes. You are not allowed to stop. All rules for performances apply in the mock "exam."
And try to find as many people as possible before your exam, so you can play in front of them. On the day of your exam, play because you want to play. Show that you have to share what you are playing to others because you LOVE it...like a show and tell thing we used to have in kindergarten, haha. You're not playing for the sake of an exam and getting very nervous. Embrace the nerves, love the feeling.
If you can't find a bunch of people, try play in front of camera, and then post your videos onto Youtube!
I was like you very nervous in front of people 4 years ago, my teacher was very angry at me, she said, "Flute playing is a performing art, you have to face people, if you are so nervous and can't perform, don't study flute, try composition!"
Then I went out to the street and practice flute in front of strangers, and joined youth orchestras, and my teacher also taught me to record myself with a camera without re-take and then immediately post onto Youtube. After few years, I don't have stage fright anymore.
I'm going to share you something my teacher told me which really improved my repertoire status:
Think you have to tell a story to the audience. Start practicing by analyzing notes and focus on the passion you have to transmit to audience. Get involve with the story of the song and enter the world of it. It really helps! after a minute of stress, because you are focusing to express "your" feelings, tell "your" story, everything around will fade gradually and you'll soon feel you are playing for yourself!
Try it for the first time with "Danny boy" and "express" your feeling(especially when the song reaches the peak!)
I know it may seem kinda idealistic, but just just give it a try. You'll understand what I'm talking about