Speaking to Middle Schoolers about Music & Overcoming Fear

So I tell me son (a 9th grader in High School) that i will be speaking to the 8th grade choirs (in the middle school) about music and performance anxiety and he freaks!  "Why are you doing that?  Can you get out of it mom?"  

"No, why should I get out of it?"  He gives me some answers - basically a bunch of excuses I could use to avoid taking on the potential risk of failing and therefore embarrassing him by speaking to a grade lower than his at a different school.  

When he realizes I'm not going to back down he asks, "Why are you doing it?"  I tell him I offered to do this.  He's shocked. I reminded him about how I was so overcome by fear in my teenage years that I eventually gave up music all-together and pursued "safer" choices.  I feel very passionate about this - motivating kids not to succumb to these same fears but to keep doing what they love to do.  

So, I have to admit, although my son's reaction made me a bit more apprehensive, it also made me stand firm all the more.  He was listening to his own fears trying to talk me out of it!  I want to empower these kids and motivate them to overcome their insecurities and pursue their passions, whatever they are.   

So, I'm hoping you can help me answer some questions. If for no other reason, than to avoid embarrassing my older son. By the way, my younger son, who is AT the middle school, wants me to mention him while I'm there.  So, maybe I shouldn't be as insecure as I am. LOL!  Any input you could provide on this subject would be appreciated.  You would be helping these kids too! And this is just the beginning.  I plan on starting a video blog series soon on anxiety and worry.  Watch for it in the future and thank you for ANY comments you have!

Here are some questions to get you thinking:  

What scared you during your middle school years?  

Were there any fears that you succumbed to and regretted later?  

What did you do back then or now to overcome fear?  

What helps you to calm down before a performance? 

How can I keep the attention of 8th graders?


Cindy, You GO GIRL! Kids, of all ages, these days have too few real mentors and role models to look to. Even if there is just one kid that listens to what you have said and is able to proceed forward without fear, you have will have given a great priceless gift to that child, and in turn to each person that child will encounter along their path in life. Your 9th grade son is just being a normal teen, but I promise you, from experience, later in life he will look you in the eyes and say 'Mom, now I understand'. You are a blessing to many and I am proud to call you my friend.

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