Hi Bob, it is with much happiness that I am sharing my experience with others, in the hope, that if someone out there has my similar problem, can now know that there is help!
So here it is:
I came to your session for the very first time, just a week before June 10th. Or should I say, just a week before my big exam.
I have been studying piano for almost five years. I found relaxation, and being absorbed by my studies and progress, I felt so happy! I felt that after working hard a whole lifetime, I finally found my true passion!
First thing in the morning I'm at my piano practicing, with my coffee, I visit my kids who each have a piano in their houses for me (just a way to keep me there overnight!).
Well, I got absorbed into the Royal Conservatory studies, filled with structure and deadlines! But I loved it! The only time I would hide was when a play, or rehearsal, or exam, came up. Slowly but surely I found that every exam and play became harder and harder for me! Not because I wasn't prepared, but because the anxiety attacks became stronger and stronger every time! My hands would tremble, my arms were freezing up to my elbow, my heart was pounding, the sweating was horrible, and the only thing that kept me going was my very strong mind, where I knew I wasn't going to give up!
On June 10th I had my Level 9 Royal Conservatory Exam. I was very well prepared! All memorized and definitely ready; but that wasn't enough! Just the thought to go in front of a judge was giving me heart palpitation. I even tested myself in front of a few friends in the comfort of my home, and was just a big disaster! Well, I knew then that I would have had to give up my passion for music, since at that point I could only play for myself!
So, I went for help to a couple of doctors! They prescribed me a Beta blocker, so that I wouldn't have a hearth attack on stage! Well, not a promising solution for me since I always thought that playing for others should have given me joy!
So, I went looking for help to my friend musicians! Was sad to find out that their advice was to have a few stiff drinks before going on stage! It might work for them, since they are guitarists with a loud background accompaniment, but would not work for me since I would be all alone on stage with my piano, and not even my music books in front of me to comfort me!
So, my very last resource was to come and see you!
I can't tell you how thrilled I was!
Originally coming to your session, I thought "well, may be if I relax a bit, I'll manage thru". But you gave me a lot more then that!
You took the time to listen to my problem! You dedicated your session towards my goal! Of course, it benefited others too, since more Confidence is something that we all can use. But I had none!
After your session you even took an extra 10 minutes to re-work with me! I'll never forget that burst of Confidence that suddenly got into me! I burned the book with all my fears, anxieties and bad stuff! I returned to be who I once was! Full of confidence!
Even my piano teacher picked up that there was something different about me, when I rehearsed for him my exam. He said he never heard me playing so well! Well, he was right! I had confidence! I was no longer scared to be judged!
And this confidence has stayed with me since! Also in other aspects of my life! I actually went to Kelowna last Saturday at a car auction and came out with a sweet deal! Of course, I did my homework before going there, just as I put in many hours of piano studies in preparation of my exam! But the point is, that now I am confident and I do things! And somehow I keep a very calm approach!
I could go on and on. . . . but I'll stop here!
I just came back from my usual evening walk by the lake, and I realized that I didn't mention anything about me scoring high and passing with honours! At the time it was the most important things for me, but now I've come to realize that my regained confidence works for me in so many different ways every day. Whoever is in my same old situation, should be able to find comfort in knowing that you can help!
Thank you so very much Bob for what you have done for me! I'm looking forward to your sessions!
From the bottom of my heart, thank you and thank you!