I don’t tend to divulge lots of private info here, but I thought today was a good day to start.
When I went to college, I had been the big fish in a small pond. In addition to this, I had some debilitating performance anxiety. I wanted to be a saxophone player. I joined choir on a whim in college and eventually became a voice major. Lessons, and preparation would be fabulous, and I’d get into an audition and fall apart. I wouldn’t be able to hear anything, just white noise in my ears.
If I had not had such supportive parents and a private voice teacher who stuck with me, I would NOT be a music teacher now.
I earned a B.S. in Psychology while I tried to get over or find a way around my own interference. I worked so hard to overcome this mind-boggling and horrific anxiety that when I got into the school of music, my voice teacher, a professor from the University, came into choir, interrupted rehearsal and pulled me out because she couldn’t wait to give me the good news.
In the meantime, my parents never told me to chose something different. They told me to keep going for my dream.
It wasn’t like my anxiety magically disappeared, but I had finally found a way to deal with it. And it was something I struggled with for the entirety of my college career. Upon being in a classroom where I was required to use my voice, I found that my anxiety was restricted to performing in academic settings, and thankfully, I don’t find myself having issues on a day to day basis.
On looking back, I know I didn’t do what most people would do in my situation. Most people would have given up. Some people would have immediately chosen to do something else. I think most people in my situation would not have earned a degree while trying to deal with performance anxiety because they wanted something so badly.
And this is why I teach.