Here are some helpful hints for dealing with the viola or violin player's frequent companion: stage fright!
• Stage fright is a natural, if uncomfortable, element of performing. We want to honor the music and our hard work, we want to share ourselves with the audience, and we also care about what others may be thinking about us.
• The best recipe for a successful performance is to focus on what you want to give, rather than what might go wrong, and to keep returning to the present moment.
• In your practice sessions, try to stay awake to your surroundings, and to the sound and physical experience of playing. If you practice being present, that presence will be there when you are onstage, too.
• You can also practice by performing in front of supportive people, even just one person.
• Right before a performance, reflect on your own courage in sharing the gift of music with a live audience.
• When you lose your concentration, come back to the moment. You may lose focus many times in the course of a performance, and that’s totally normal!
• After the performance, no matter how you think it went, be gentle with yourself and appreciate yourself for having the courage to perform.
• When you feel ready, think back over the performance to see what you might have gained from the experience.