"Technically, you played it correctly..."
"Technically, everything was right..."
"Technically, it was fine..."
This post goes out to the several people over the past month who have asked me what to do when they've technically done it all. You know who you are, and you're not alone.
I have previously referred to this performance trend as "playing apologetically."
This can take many forms:
As impolite as it sounds, what if we didn't apologize?
If no one wanted to hear you, they wouldn't be there. Even for "mandatory" school-related events, each and every audience member has chosen to listen to you perform instead of sitting on their respective couches ordering pizza and marathoning Netflix.
What if we didn't apologize for that? What if, instead, we made it really and truly worth their while? We are all at least as interesting as another streamed episode of Law and Order or Gossip Girl.
Sometimes I also think of this difficulty as "being camera shy." Shyness is about
hiding, and in music this can be physically hiding behind our music stand or
instrument. More often, though, it means emotionally hiding behind the ink on
the page, rather than presenting what we actually believe about a piece and its
For the sake of brevity, here I defer to these cute kids in this Dove commercial:
When did you stop thinking you're worth hearing?
Throw away whatever hides you.
Show off for the camera.