It's 7:30 in the morning, and I'm about to depart, violin in hand, and go to a grad school audition. Yes, I've applied to a graduate program for a master's degree in music performance.
There are two reasons why I should feel exceptionally calm about this particular audition, at which I will be playing the first movement of the Tchaikovsky concerto and the third movement of the Bach A minor solo sonata. First of all, I already know that I will be accepted into the program. Secondly, I don't even know for sure that I want to go to this particular school. So why am I freaking out?
I shouldn't be, but I am. And since I am, I decided to give myself a pep talk. It went like this: "Hey Self, remember that great compliment you got from your last teacher? You are an OK violinist. You might not play every 32nd-note double-stop perfectly in tune. You might not keep the bass line in the Bach perfectly even or consistent enough. But you will probably not totally bomb. Probably not."
I'm going to play everything through once more. And then I'm off.