Festival Workshop: Performance Anxiety

  • Sunday, April 08, 2018
  • 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Performance Anxiety is a problem that anyone who engages in a creative activity in front of an audience has probably experienced. For some it may occur as an occasional, situation specific spike in what is otherwise their normal level of excitement and anticipation. For a great many others, though, it is an ongoing struggle that can make performing at any level an intensely difficult thing to do. For far too many skilled and passionate artists, it can become an impossible obstacle to hurdle if steps are not taken to develop the ability to keep it at a manageable level and not allow it to interfere with doing what they love.

This presentation will include a discussion of the root causes of performance anxiety and its psychological and physiological aspects, along with descriptions of strategies that you can use to work on developing the ability to manage your own anxiety.

Presenter bio: Don Golfen has been playing guitar for most of his life, beginning with acoustic folk and blues styles as a student of the great Philadelphia guitarist Jerry Ricks. He began playing classical guitar in his late teens and received a degree in classical guitar performance from Temple University as a student of Peter Segal. Don has taught acoustic blues and classical guitar, and was a Settlement Music School faculty member during the late 1970s. He is currently the owner of Golfen Guitar Repair.

Don was a frequent performer in his teens and early twenties, playing acoustic folk and blues at local college coffeehouses and larger venues. He has also performed on electric guitar in a number of rock and blues bands and one particularly enjoyable experience in the pit band for the stage play Little Shop of Horrors. His swing blues band Jump Time performed regularly at a variety of large and small venues throughout the southeastern Pennsylvania area during the 1990s.

As a classical guitarist, Don has only done occassional performances since graduating from college because, although performing on acoustic and electric guitars had always been fun and something to look forward to, he found it becoming increasingly difficult to play classical guitar in front of even a small audience due to performance anxiety. A change in career took him further away from performing on classical guitar, although he continued to play electric guitar in blues bands.

In recent years, Don has returned to playing classical guitar regularly and is enjoying it more than ever. However, although he would like to share the music that he's playing with others, he has found, not surprisingly, that the long period of not playing classical guitar publicly has resulted in an even greater problem with performance anxiety. This presentation is based on what he has learned while working on managing his own anxiety.

Philadelphia Classical Guitar Society
Address: 2038 Sansom street - Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: +1 (215) 567 2972
Email: info@phillyguitar.com 

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