I was wondering if there are any fellow musicians on here with SA? What has been your experience with playing your instrument or singing live in front of others?
I am in week 24 of the series, where it circles back to public speaking. I have a degree in vocal performance and sang in front of people regularly in undergrad. In grad school, I found it more nerve-wracking to sing in front of others, since I felt my skills weren't quite as good as even some of the younger students. Plus, there was a very strict choir teacher, which didn't help matters. And trying to sing high notes when you're anxious doesn't work so well!
After that, I performed with different non-school groups and occasionally did solos and duets. However, as my SA grew, so did my fear of singing in front of others, to the point where one occasion of singing solo in front of just family caused nervousness. Thoughts going through my head during any performance would include, "What if I mess up? What if my voice cracks? What if I don't hit that high note?" Having a college degree in singing, I tend to put extra pressure on myself to be at a certain level of mastery.
I have overcome much of my anxiety through the therapy program. However, I have not yet tried to sing solo in public since last year. I sing with a choir which causes some anxiety during rehearsal, since I sometimes have trouble with higher notes when I didn't used to. This is partly because of fear but also because of a procedure which caused temporary trauma to my vocal folds (thankfully only temporary, and it's steadily improving). I wonder if I should take some opportunities to sing with smaller groups, and then work my way up to singing solo again? It's not my number-one pursuit anymore, but I do love music and want to be able to sing solo for others again. This is similar to public speaking, so I thought I'd share and get feedback.