All-State Audition Help – Performance Anxiety

A number of you are busy (or have students) preparing music for all-region/all-state competitions, music juries, etc. One of the common questions I get when I give a master class, teach a lesson, etc. is how to successfully deal with the normal stress of performing, i.e. Performance Anxiety. A few years ago, I wrote an article that featured some practical performance anxiety tips – it is based on information from one of my master classes.  Click HERE for the article.

PS. Tip #2 in the mentioned article above says this:

2. There is a Tomorrow. Very few times in our lives do our careers hinge on a single
performance. Also, not too many people die while performing!

FYI, there is at least one example of someone dying while performing: Great jazz trumpeter Lee “Morgan was murdered in the early hours of February 19, 1972, at Slugs’, a jazz club in New York City’s East Village where his band was performing. Following an altercation between sets, Morgan’s common-law wife Helen More (a.k.a. Morgan), shot him in the chest onstage, killing him within moments. He was 33 years old.” (This quote and more details here.) My understanding is that she was jealous or something like that.

So, ordinarily, performing is safe.

About ClarinetMike

American clarinetist MICHAEL DEAN performs and teaches internationally and across the USA to consistent praise such as "world-class clarinetist and pedagogue," "consummate performer," "inspirational," "outstanding teacher," "super," "brilliant performer," and "one of the best clinicians I have ever seen." His career is headlined by appearances at Carnegie Hall, ClarinetFest, NACWPI, Eastman School of Music, and Royal Northern College of Music with recent recitals and master classes in Canada, Italy, Spain, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Louisiana, and Texas. In July, he will again return to Vipiteno, Italy as Clarinet Artist Faculty in Residence at the international Orfeo Music Festival 2019. He is featured on 5 commercial CD's and on New Media, such as YouTube. He is currently preparing another new clarinet CD, Postcards from Silver Lake. Dr. Dean has given more than 500 clinics, master classes and performances at high schools, universities, conferences and other venues. For 11 years he was a clarinetist with the Paducah Symphony and he's also performed with the Southwest Symphony, Nevada Symphony, Abilene Philharmonic, Southeast Chamber Players, Red Mesa Trio, and Duo 35. His articles appear in journals such as Southwestern Musician, WINDPLAYER, NACWPI Journal and The Bandmasters' Review. As "ClarinetMike," he writes for his widely-viewed ClarinetMike Blog, the Internet’s #1 clarinet blog read in 150 countries on 6 continents: After a successful 25 years of teaching clarinet at the university level, he relocated to his native Texas due to family concerns. He is a past president and former National Board officer of the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors (NACWPI). Dr. Michael Dean studied clarinet performance at Texas Tech University, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Texas at Austin and University of Texas at Arlington. His teachers include Robert Walzel, Phil Aaholm, Carol Jessup, Jess Youngblood, and Bob Ackerman. His web page,, features video of his teaching and performing as well as information on his CD's and other publications. He is a BG France Performing Artist.
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1 Response to All-State Audition Help – Performance Anxiety

  1. James Barger says:

    Great advice! Warne Marsh was another great jazz musician who died onstage in 1987 in the middle of playing a tune. Talk about going out on a high note!

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