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Battle of the Bands and Overcoming Stage Fright

Battle of the Bands and Overcoming Stage Fright – A metaphor for life

by Julie Anderson

In mid-December, we participated in the Battle of the Bands. This was a musical extravaganza performed by students from Discovery Academy, Discovery Ranch for Boys and Oxbow Academy. These students practiced for months prior to the event. It required them to demonstrate patience, cooperation, a determination as well as courage. It’s not easy to stand up in front of peers and sing or play an instrument. Battle of the Bands and Overcoming Stage Fright is a metaphor for life.

I interviewed Daniel B, one of the students who also happens to struggle with some developmental concerns. He shared with me his experience and some of the feelings he faced. Daniel agreed to sing a song for his part in representing Oxbow Academy. In mid-October, Daniel had a taste of performing live when he sang at the Oxbow Parent Seminar.

I asked him what some of the differences were in his feelings from October until December.

These are the highlights of our discussion:

• In October, he was VERY nervous and felt way out of his “comfort zone”. He mentioned this was the first time he had performed in front of a large group of people. At the parent seminar, he was able to do some self-talk to relax. It is much different performing in front of loving parents than rowdy peers!

• He felt the technical aspect of learning the song and performing was a bit smoother the second time. He had the benefit of practice and prior experience.

With a big grin on his face, he enthusiastically said, “The practices took some effort, but the end result was worth it”!

• We then discussed how this experience provided a real-time opportunity for growth and learning, but also served as a metaphor for life.

When you first try something new, it can be very scary and overwhelming. You may experience feelings of being inadequate or unable to overcome your fears, emotions, and concerns. But, the more you “practice” the more you gain competency in that new endeavor. The more you gain competency, the more confident you become in that specific endeavor. Then, as you gain more confidence, you are willing to tackle new endeavors and start the cycle of success all over again.

Does it mean you have reached perfection? No. Does it mean you go through life a little more confident and hold your head a little higher…I sure hope so! Daniel certainly did!

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