Between classes at the Old Town School of Folk Music and chasing our favorite musician friends around the Midwest, over the past couple of years, music has been an increasingly important part of my life.
Music has always been one of my favorite ways to center and ground myself. I played the piano as a kid, and when I was home alone I would pour my soul out into the keys. I got out of the habit (and I no longer play the piano as well as I used to), but I’m trying to pick up a guitar or mandolin more often than I have been, because there’s something unspeakably soothing about music.
I’m writing this Wednesday morning, feeling a bit nervous about starting a new songwriting class Wednesday evening, taught by a teacher I’ve never met (but who I’ve only heard good things about). I know the crowd in Steve Dawson‘s classes well enough that it’s rather less terrifying to step into them than it is to face a room full of unknown entities.
Even more than that, though, I’m getting increasingly nervous about next Monday.
Next Monday, I am getting up on a stage by myself and playing a full 25-minute set of original songs.
Up to this point, I have never played more than two songs at a stretch on stage, and that’s been limited exclusively to songwriting class recitals and open mics. This is seven songs, a whole new experience, and while I’m definitely exited, I’m also…well…pretty terrified.
I know that chances are once I get up there and start playing, I’ll be fine. And even if I’m not fine, I doubt anyone in attendance will be throwing produce at me. If I fumble my way through all seven songs, then at least I’ll have made it through all seven.
Getting up in front of people and singing and playing words and music that I wrote is not an easy thing for my introverted, socially anxious self. But it’s something I’ve wanted to try for a long time, and this particular sort of anxiety is one that I find I need to face and force myself through once in a while, or it becomes paralyzing. So, we’ll see how it goes.