Tag Archives: stress

Stress, sleep, and performance

 Any musician who performs has been in the position of having to play a concert with too little sleep.  We may be traveling and don’t sleep well in hotels.  Or perhaps a Tiredperforming opportunity has popped up unexpectedly and the only way to have the music learned and memorized is to work well into the night. Students are known to cut sleep in order to try to accommodate all of the other demands of university life.  Occasionally sleep-deprived performances are unexpectedly good. More than one pianist has told me that because she was so tired, the critical, judgmental voice in her head that often monitors performances was less active and she more easily entered a flow state.  But more likely, we musicians don’t talk about the performances that didn’t go well when the reason was lack of sleep.   Continue reading