Overcoming Performance Anxiety

Jan 5, 2015

Do you get nervous on stage? How do you deal with the butterflies? 

Christina Mixemong, a principal viola with the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, says that, despite being a professional musician for years, she still deals with performance anxiety. 

Think about it. You're playing 100,000 notes in 3 minutes, that all have to be perfect. It's hard. -Tim Hankewich

 “I remember once I was on stage performing in college. All at once, I didn’t know what to do next. I froze. Since then, I’ve found that being prepared for anything is the only way to handle it.”

Orchestra Iowa Music Director Tim Hankewich, a pianist, has also dealt with nerves. He says performing is all about learning to get comfortable with the control you do and don’t have over a live audition or concert. During this hour of Talk of Iowa, Mixemong and Hankewich join host Charity Nebbe to discuss overcoming performance anxiety. Kathleen Staley also joins the show. She works as a counseling psychologist at the University of Iowa Counseling Center.