What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done? Climbing Mt. Everest? Swimming the English Channel? Raising a teenager?
Ok. I haven’t done the first two, but I survived raising a teenager and I think it ranks right up there near the top of the list of hardest things. I actually found a website the other day that listed someone else’s ideas of the hardest things to do in life. None of the ones I mentioned were on their list, but there were some that hit home, particularly as I was thinking about this podcast topic. One of them was giving up comfort, getting out of your comfort zone.
Sharing your music - playing in front of other people - is out of the comfort zone for most of us. When we play for others we are making ourselves vulnerable. It isn’t just about playing well, although that always helps. It’s also about feeling, however wrongly, that we are being judged, and that we may be found unworthy. It’s about revealing our artistic side, something we often feel is private and personal. No matter how confident we are in other areas of our lives, sharing our music can be extremely hard.
I’ve been playing the harp in public for over 50 years and although I can tell you it gets easier over time, I still face some of the same doubts and fears I had when I started. I’ve had plenty of good performances, but I’ve plenty that were more the crash-and-burn type.
Today’s episode is devoted to making playing for others easier for you. One of the benefits of my own performing experiences, particularly the crash-and-burn ones, is that I have had to look at the right way to prepare so that I can be reasonably confident that my performance will meet my expectations. And I have discovered that the best preparation has two parts - preparing your music properly (which isn’t the type of practice you’re doing now, I can almost guarantee) and preparing yourself.
This is a big topic, much bigger than a single podcast episode. But because we are coming into a season with lots of extra musical performances, I thought it was important to share the broad outline with you so that if you decide to share your music this holiday season, you have the information you need to prepare well.
Now a quick note for everyone who is in the My Harp Mastery membership. We will be spending the entire month of November on this topic, and the coaches and I will all be teaching on different aspects of sharing your music. So this is an extra resource for you as you begin this month’s theme, “Prepare to Share.”
Links to things I think you might be interested in that were mentioned in the podcast episode:
Get involved in the show! Send your questions and suggestions for future podcast episodes to me at [email protected]