Dr. Noa Kagayama hits the nail on the head every time, this time with performance anxiety and how to manage it. I’ve been following his posts for quite some time and always find them incredibly useful and insightful. Before discovering Noa’s blog, I was (and still remain) a huge fan of sports psychologist Don Greene. His book “Audition Success” changed my life when it hit the bookshelves back in ’98. One of the big things we forget is that nerves are not bad and are in fact a good thing. They can remind us of how far we’ve come and can fuel some really inspired playing. When I think about some of my best performances, I wasn’t particularly calm by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, often the opposite. Unfortunately, what happens physically when we feel the fear or anxiety, is that we tense up, grip, hold, tighten … this is not good. Better if we can allow ourselves to feel the nerves as they crop up, breathe, release the tension we feel and re-frame the nerves to equal something more useful, such as excitement. Let nervousness = excitement for an awesome performance. A wise and good friend of mine always says “feel the fear, inhibit the grip.” Wise words, indeed!