Hi everyone, well it's an awful day here in Wales, it's been raining here for the last month so I hope you've all had some nicer weather.

I've had a request to talk about nerves, do you get nervous playing in front of people, maybe your teacher or friend, when it's coming up to the time of performing at a concert, well there are a few things that you can do.

Firstly, the more you do something the better you get at it. If you do a concert once a year then you'll find that when it comes around to the time of the concert it gets really bad. But if you do a concert once a month you'll get more used to performing and even though you might still get nervous you'll be able to deal with it more easily.

Then there's the banana, an old trick that many musicians use when the nerves start to get bad, maybe 15 minutes before a performance have a banana to calm you down. Make sure if you get really bad nerves that you don't pick pieces that you can only just play, if you pick a piece that's only half your skill level you'll find you won't get nearly as nerves.

OK so that about covers performance, what about learning something new in front of your piano teacher, maybe you find that you can play everything fine when at home but when it comes to playing in front of your teacher it all goes to pieces. Well this is very common, you can help this by thinking about your teacher in a different way.

Rather than think "oooo it's my teacher I really want to play this well", think "who cares if I make a few mistakes, it's only my teacher". Thinking about something in a different way can sometimes make all the difference. Another thing that will help greatly is to tell your teacher, let him or her know that you play much better when at home so that they don't try to teach you a piece of music that you know you can play but it's only when it comes to playing for your teacher that you can't.

If you have a recorder you could even record yourself playing and then play it back for your teacher to show how you really are able to play a piece. Nerves really are strange, I find that when I get the most nerves it's because I really want to impress someone or do well at a concert, so if you can convince yourself otherwise thinking to yourself that it's just another crowd, who cares what they think. You won't worry too much about making a mistake and so you won't get as many nerves.

Keep in mind that these are practice techniques that will help you along the way, when you learn how to calm your nerves you won't have to think about your crowd as just any other crowd, you'll be able to think of them as wow they're going to be blown away today, and also if you use the (just another crowd technique) don't let them know.

Well that's the end of another issue, I hope you liked it and got something from reading it.

Remember to reply to this email with your comments and input, what would you like to see in the next issue.

OK so until next time I bid you rainy goodbyes and good playing.
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Ben