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Resources for Performance Anxiety

Ever since I began playing the oboe at age 12, I have suffered from performance anxiety of varying degrees. In middle school it didn’t seem so bad (I was the only oboist and that made me pretty freakin’ cool if I do say so myself…of course, my SOUND on the other hand left a lot to be desired). Nevertheless, when I got into high school the anxiety became worse; as a somewhat decent oboist, I began to get solos in band pieces and was encouraged to audition for ensembles such as District and All-State band. My nervousness was directly related to the importance of the audition. I struggled a lot. In fact, I remember thinking that if I could just get over my nerves, I could REALLY play the oboe. College rolled around and I decided to attend Baylor University as an oboe performance major. It was in these four years that the performance anxiety became almost debilitating. While it is true that performance anxiety eases with time and experience, that reassurance probably doesn’t help you NOW. So here’s a few books that will:

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1. A Soprano on her Head: Right-Side-Up Reflections on Life and Other Performances, by Eloise Ristad

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2. The Inner Game of Music, by Barry Green and Timothy Gallwey

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3. Audition Success, by Don Green

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4. Performance Success, by Don Greene

There’s more where this came from, but this should get you started. Happy Reading (and Reed-ing, HAHA!!)

Melissa