This has always been a big problem for me, both in teaching and learning scenarios, and whether playing alone (especially alone) and in ensembles. I would really like to try to find a way around it, so I am reading The Inner Game of Music and Mastering the Art of Performance, but still the problem continues.
I know it's important to be aware of the reasons behind the tension, so here is a list (in no particular order) of what I believe my main tension-inducers to be:-
- I am an edgy, live-on-my-nerves kind of person;
- Fear (of drying-up, having a mental blank, making mistakes, etc) because I am also a perfectionist;
- Public performance of any kind (this really freaks me out);
- Not being very good at relaxation;
- Problematic joints affected by Rheumatoid Arthritis;
....and a list of the solutions I have thus far tried:-
- Beta-blockers (for big tension-inducers like exams);
- Bach's Rescue Remedy;
- Practising tension-releasing exercises taught to me by a primary school teacher as I waited to take an exam on one occasion;
- Bailey's (yes, I know - hardly ideal!)
I have just watched a link posted by a forumite on another thread, and envied the relaxed, fluid movements of the pianist - although this doesn't just happen to me on piano, but on any instrument, to the extent that it affects my performance if almost anyone is there apart from myself. I am attempting to learn pipe organ now, and always have to time my practise sessions for when I expect the Church to be empty - although obviously it is an instrument that is supposed to be heard.
Can anyone offer any tips / advice / tension-releasers that they have tried and found helpful?
Many thanks in advance.