The pressure of performing can certainly be a daunting experience for players, especially on your first few performances.
Our woodwind students have been invited to play at Strathfield Moon Festival in a few weeks, so one of our woodwind teachers asked a saxophone student to come along and play. She was very reluctant about it, and told the teacher she would “have to think about it”. The teacher, being enthusiastic and encouraging as he is, told her to just go for it, saying that it will give her a good experience playing in front of a large crowd.
This made me think about the first few times I had to perform in front of large crowds. Even if planned weeks ahead, it was definitely nerve-racking and scary, but what the teacher said was true: just going for it; just ‘winging it’ is a good approach to performing in front of crowds, and undoubtedly helped me overcome my fear of performing in front of others.
So to our woodwind students who are contemplating about whether to perform at this Moon Festival or not, and to all others who have a fear of public performances, my advice to you for the day is simple: ‘Just Wing It’.