I was asked by one of the main British conservatoires to work with a student who had had such appalling nerves that she was failing all her assessed recitals and exams, despite being a wonderfully talented player.
We worked together on Skype for 5 sessions and among other things, I encouraged her to change her whole way of thinking, remembering the times she loved playing and how much she loved music.
We worked on her physical tension so that she started to release that, brought in breathing as a way to calm herself, along with a whole tool kit of techniques that she could pull out when she needed them.
She gave her recital yesterday and instead of the paralysing tension and nausea she used to have, she was exhilarated. When she rang me, she was almost breathless with excitement about how much she loved her recital and how well she felt she’d played. That to me is what it’s all about. She can now build on this and even if she has a less than ideal performance in the future, she knows she can do it!