There’s something magical about performance. There’s not another time in your life that you can be – must be – focused in that way. I’ve been trying to convince my students this week – their solo and ensemble performances are this weekend – that there’s a magic to the 5 minutes that you spend in front of the audience or the judge. During that time, nothing else matters. A text could be coming in on your phone, or the dog could be eating your homework at home, or there could be some really hard music coming up on the next page, but now – RIGHT NOW – the only thing that matters is playing this one phrase well. It’s the only thing that’s important, and the only thing you can control. You can’t get stressed out about whether your performance will be good enough, or whether you are going to make it through the piece – all you can do right now is play THIS phrase, or THIS measure, or even THIS note. You might as well do it really really well. It’s your time. Enjoy it.