Working with some woodwind students recently on their upcoming performances, I have been asking them to play with more confidence. Often they have practiced well enough, but play timidly in lessons or rehearsals, and I worry that the same will happen on stage.
When I ask them to play more confidently, they don’t always seem ready to rise to the challenge. But I’ve worked out a useful equation that helps them get on the right track:
confidence = air
Confidence can seem difficult to muster, but air is free. When I point out the equivalence and ask them to just play with more air, they play better and discover the confidence they need.
When you are playing and feel your confidence start to waver, don’t worry—you have a whole room full of confidence ready for you to breathe it in.