My violin teacher

Chatterbox: Chirp at Cricket

My violin teacher

My violin teacher has decided to have me play at a dinner at our church. In a quartet with a guy I don't even know and his dad to boot. My violin teacher will play cello so will the guy's dad and I'll play violin with that guy. I  mean I know who he is but none of the guys at our church ever talk to the girls (yet).

I'm afraid I'm embarrass him EXTREMELY 'cause I'll probably mess up and I'll embarrass him in front of his friends because I'm a girl and he has to play violin with me. And I'll probably get nervous playing in front of 150+ - people.

GAHHHHHHHHH I have no idea what to do. We'll have to practice with them beforehand..... All the more embarrassing! I don't even like this guy. My mom says it's a good opportunity to meet him, but I don't really want to and neither will he. At the same time it's just a guy, but still it's weird!!!!!! I'm so strung out and nervous I'm about to go jumping  on walls.

Why am I nervous? Any tips to how to calm down? Thanks have a great day, sorry if this annoyed you, I just don't know what to do.


Paulette, your teacher wouldn't have asked you unless she knew you were capable of performing with the group. You won't be alone. You'll be playing with three other people. See how the practice goes and talk to your teacher about any concerns you have. Over my many years, I've learned that things you may get nervous about in advance really aren't so bad once you get going. Practice so you'll be prepared and know you can do it, then have fun! When it's over, you'll have a proud feeling of accomplishment, and next time it will be easier.

 I remember agreeing to play violin for Fiddler on the Roof years agi. I love the music and I practiced and practiced till I knew it really well. But on the way to the opening night I thought, I don't know if I can do this. I might shake so much that I drop my bow. The solo violin opens the whole show. But once I started, I was fine, and I'm so glad I did it. After that I played for many more shows, but Fiddler remains my very favorite!

Old Cricket

submitted by Paulette K., age almost 13, Indiana
(September 22, 2010 - 2:14 pm)

Aha, quartet stress :) something I've been through too. And no, this doesn't annoy me -- there's nothing I enjoy more than helping people through stressful situations. That may sound really weird, but it's what I do every day of my life.


1) Most important thing is that you are going to have fun, whomever you have to work with. Second most important thing is that you are not going to mess up. You need to have that attitude whatever the circumstances.

2) Stop letting the fact that he's a guy override your brain. If you don't let that bother you, then everything becomes much simpler all of a sudden. Feeling self-conscious and embarrassed is the worst possible thing to happen during a rehearsal. It will short-circuit your playing. And yes I know this is true, because it's happened to me... I had to play a really difficult quartet last year and I liked the first violinist. Rather unsurprisingly, the first couple rehearsals were really awkward because there was no communication between the violist and the first violinist. (It was Mozart, where screwing up is really conspicuous, which didn't help.) But rehearsal is no time for gender frustrations (as I learned XD). And once I stopped feeling embarrassed, the quartet turned out really well, too...

3) It is true, it is very hard to play quartets well. But the audience size doesn't matter... when you perform, as long as you play really well and have a big sound, you can imagine the audience to be as large or as small as you want. I've played for really big audiences of 300, 400, 500 people, and really small audiences of six, seven, eight.

4) Old Cricket is right -- your teacher wouldn't have asked you if she didn't know you could do it! So the person who knows your violin playing better than anyone else in the world has confidence in you; how much better can you get? 


I hope this helped!



submitted by Tim C, age 13, not where I sho
(September 23, 2010 - 3:15 pm)