At one point in my life I suffered so much from stage fright that I wondered if I was not going to devote myself solely to pedagogy (which I was already passionate about) and never perform in public again, so intense was the suffering.
But as I am rather of a temperament not to resign but to move forward, I took the bull by the horns and chose to find a solution to this problem.
What I never wanted to do was to take beta-blockers, because I consider that they are not innocuous drugs, that they are not at all made for that. They are generally prescribed for people who have had a heart attack or suffer from coronary heart disease. Just read the contraindications mentioned on the leaflet to quickly look for another solution! Don't forget that ALL medicines have side effects, that's why every serious doctor specifies that you should always evaluate what is called “benefit/risk” before any prescription.
And even if sometimes, I say “sometimes” because it is not systematic, these drugs alleviate certain symptoms such as palpitations for example, it does not solve the others, nor does it solve the problem in depth.
Also be careful with anxiolytics (especially benzodiazepines such as lexomil etc...!!!) which can cause “headaches (especially in the elderly), memory lapses, drowsiness, drunkenness, itchy skin rashes, double vision, slowing down of ideas, fatigue, or on the contrary excitement, irritability, confusion of ideas, hallucinations...”. (cf. Vidal)
So I looked in other directions, I tried homeopathy, especially the gelsemium often used in this case; it helped a little, but it was not enough at all.
It was at that time that I started to practice yoga and despite all the good that I think of this discipline, just like breathing, relaxation, cardiac coherence or like many other practices (which are not at all negligible because they can bring a plus), they are not powerful enough to solve the problem of “real” stage fright.
Or perhaps in the very long term, after years of practice.
But I doubt that anyone who suffers from stage fright (which I would not hesitate to call a “handicap” at some level) can endure it for so long before being able to free himself or herself from it.
So, I started studying again; I started by taking an interest in the immense possibilities of the mind, in the relationship between body and mind, in the functioning of the brain, in the learning process etc...
- Psychology, Hypnosis (graduate of École d'hypnologie et de psychologie appliquée de Paris),
- Natural Medicine (graduate of The Heilpraktiker Fachschule of Saarrebrück)
- Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncturist (holder of the National Diploma of Traditional Acupuncturist, graduate of the National Federation of Traditional Chinese Medicine,(graduate of The Hong Kong Institut of Chinese Acupuncture and the New Medicine Institut of Hong Kong).
- I also practiced Yoga (14 years) and Martial Arts (Aïkido: 9 years), Tai Chi Chuan and Qi Gong...
All this to tell you that each time I acquired new knowledge, I always had the concern to adapt it to instrumental playing and pedagogy.
The synthesis of all this knowledge is at the heart of what I have called the “Performance Anxiety Neuronal Elimination Process (P.A.N.E.T.)” as well as the “Holistic Pedagogical System (H.P.S.)” methods based on brain plasticity, (a recent discovery of neuroscience) whose effectiveness is proven and demonstrated thanks to modern devices of cerebral functional imaging (EEG, CT, MRI, PETscan, scintigraphy etc.).
Whatever their level (amateurs, professionals, students, teachers and also high-level concert performers), several hundred musicians have definitively solved their problems thanks to the creation and strengthening of neural links.
All these results that I am talking about are based on a solid experience since I have been bringing these solutions for more than 30 years through courses, conferences, training seminars that I lead in France and abroad*.
Very often, people try to reason with us, to convince us that stage fright is useless and that we should not let it show itself or, in any case, not let it show through.
But it is important to know that reasoning and willpower can do nothing against stage fright. It is therefore necessary to proceed differently.
* Among my many interventions, we can mention:
- teaching mission in Taipei (Taiwan),
- internships at European Academies,
- lectures at various national and international conferences,
- lectures at the Teaching Aptitude Certificate preparation courses
- conducting seminars for teachers and students in conservatories and music schools or other places
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