Stress when playing the violin during exams and performances
It is not a rare sight to see nervous students before their turn to perform on stage or before an examiner. Especially if it is your first time, you may be under intense pressure. With too much stress, you could have a sleepless night before or unable to perform on the day itself.
Keeping your stress under control
In order to perform your best, you must stay calm and focused. We have listed several tips to help you do your best during your violin exams or performances.
- Sleep early the night before. Any last-minute study will not help. Do not work yourself up.
- Take deep breathes and focus on doing your best in the exam room. Try not to focus on anything else except playing the violin for the examiner.
- Do not stop if you make a mistake in between the music piece. This will limit your exam score as the examiner will only grade what you have played for him.
- Wake up early and leave your home early. The examination room might be somewhere hard to find or the traffic might be bad.
- Have your things ready the night before. You do not have to rush to pack your things up in case you wake up.
- During your preparations for the exam, taking breaks in between such as walking your dog or taking a stroll. It is good to exercise before your exam.
- Start preparing long before your violin exam. Do not wait till the week before to start practising. This will make you worry and lose confidence during your violin exam.
- Go to bed early the night before. Some take a long to before they fall asleep as they are too worried or excited about their violin exam.
- Have a filling breakfast in the morning and take all your meals.
- Tell yourself to give it your best during your violin exam or performance.
For many, they experience stress symptoms because of the pressure from their parents or the worry of failing their violin exam. We have named a few stress symptoms below. They are caused by anxiety and pressure from others.
- Inability to sleep
- Blurred vision
- Increased heart rate
- Loss of appetite
- Clammy hands
If you are experiencing any stress symptoms, you should take deep breaths and remind yourself that it is just a violin exam. As long as you have done your preparation, you will be able to pass the exam.
Note to parents
- Do not put too much pressure onto your child. Instead, encourage and tell him to do his best.
- If your child is experiencing any stress symptoms as stated above, calm him down by asking him to take a walk or take deep breaths.
- Help your child make a checklist of all the materials and books he would have to take for his violin exam. Especially for music theory exams, he must bring at least two pencils and an eraser.
- Motivate your child to start practising the violin for the exam early instead of doing a last-minute preparation.
- Before the violin exam or performance, remind your child to stay focused on playing his violin piece and not to be distracted by others around him.