Well, tonight was my mid-term for the piano class that I'm taking. We had to choose two pieces to play — one had to be memorized, the other we could read from sheet-music. We would have to play our pieces in front of the entire class.
I had chosen a version of "Ode to Joy" that I really liked, and because our class was falling on Halloween, I chose a piece called "Midnight Shadows" which is supposed to be played "mysteriously" and sounds spooky.
I got to campus a few minutes early and had a chance to run through the pieces alone — no problem. Each sounded good — I was pleased. The class was moved out of our normal classroom (which has a bunch of digital pianos) into one room with one big old baby grand right in the middle. Right about then, my blood-pressure sky-rocketed and my hands went cold as ice.
So — I give scientific presentations in front of people, sometimes lots of people, all the time. No biggie. You'd think this wouldn't bother me a bit, right? I had been counseled by a friend to go early — b/c nerves will only build with each successive performance. So I ended up going third (of about 10 students — out of an original ~25 — we've had a LOT of drops!).
"Ode" went really well — about as well as I've been able to play it. And I liked the way the heavier keys played on the grand. And then about 1/3 of the way through "Shadows" my hands started shaking. "Are you #$^&ing kidding me?" went through my mind. Right near the end, I missed a couple of notes (b/c my right hand could've turned cream into butter, I'm pretty sure…), but I got it under control enough to finish it off.
So, loved the first one and survived the second. The teacher had said he won't take off b/c of nerves, so we'll see what happens.