Saturday, July 1, 2017

waving the white flag.

I am supposed to go to chamber music camp on the 28th of this month. I got the music assignment in late May and have been working diligently since then, but I'm just overwhelmed. Today I tried playing along with a super-slow recording of one of the pieces and...pffffffft. Although this camp assigns groups/music based on placement videos, I'm afraid these pieces are really over my head. There are some really good musicians in the groups, and I am terrified I'll ruin it for them (and generally terrified to play so poorly).

I have been practicing this stuff hours and hours every day. I feel guilty when I'm not practicing. I wake up in the morning to a sense of dread: I must practice. But it will never be enough. Nobody practices this much with so little result; I am sure of this. It's a lot of stress, mentally and physically. Heartburn, tightness in the chest, sour stomach, poor sleep, loss of appetite, headaches. Poor focus, brain malfunction, dread.

I have brought the music into lessons, shoving aside more lesson-worthy subjects, only to get shrugged shoulders and "ok, what do you want to do to fix this?" or "nobody expects you to play as well as you expect yourself to play" or some such. The one thing I've not heard from any teacher is "this is not above you; you can do this (or some semblance of it)". They say nobody doubts you like you doubt yourself, but I'm not so sure.

I've been going to this camp for a couple of years, but I have never before felt this apprehensive about it. Yes, there is almost a whole month left to work on the pieces, but I am not optimistic. I am on the verge of cancelling out, even if it means losing money I've already spent. This is supposed to be fun, and because I am the way I am, I've turned it into a job. A very stressful, not very fun job.

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