10 minutes until the downbeat of a recording session.
The room is a bustle of activity. People are arriving. Instruments are being taken out of cases. Warm up exercises are being played and last minute practice is attempted. Then the music is passed out.. It’s time for me to focus. My thoughts of traffic, my to do list and the nagging muscle pain I feel in my wrist all go out the window. As I look over the music and I spot a section that is really awkward and difficult to play. Am I up to it? Panic begins to set in. My breath gets shorter. My muscles begin to clench…and my mind races. “Will I be able to play this?” I take a couple of deep breaths to try to calm my nerves. Like it or not I will be put to the test in a matter of minutes. Gone are any thoughts of artistic expression. My survival instincts take over.
Then the conductor takes the podium. OMG! They look really...