Post-Performance Depression

I’m no stranger to music.  Music has been everything from my joy to a pain in my ass.  Music has been with me through tears and laughter.  Music has been for fun and for a paycheck.  I’m no stranger to music.

However, something I can’t seem to reconcile is how much work, time, and effort go into a moment of music.  No matter how wonderful the performance is, I can’t help but be slightly depressed afterward.  It’s over.  All that hard work, over.  When it was me performing, I was relieved more than anything.  I’m not one for the spotlight, but, now that it’s for my students, it’s hard not to experience that feeling of “really? is that all there is?  all that work for 15 minutes?”

It takes a great deal of stress and work to make these performances happen.  I’m not just talking about teaching the kids the music and dances.  If only……

No, its more.  It’s making decorations for the stage, which I enjoy, but it just takes time.  It’s the mental work planning where each of the 60 or so children are going to stand on stage so that their talents can be exibited while still being a part of the group.  It’s the setting up risers (which has been quite a dilemma this year), the sound system, and moving back and forth each day from the stage to my classroom and back again.  It’s the worry that it’s all going to fall apart at any moment…….

I joke that it takes a fair amount of stress and anxiety on my part for it all to fall into place but its true.

During that 15, 20, or 30 minute performance, I’m happy.  I’m proud of my students. 

Afterward…..I hate to say disappointment but that’s the only word that’s coming to mind.  It takes less than 10 minutes for a group of helpful people to take down the decorations that took me hours to make and put up.  It’s takes even less time for the audience to clear out, proud of their child’s effort in the program…..and then, I’m alone.  It’s the strangest feeling to be surrounded by over a hundred people one moment and be alone the next.  I’m not sure what I expect……a parade down the street maybe……being hoisted up on the shoulders of the parents perhaps…..

I guess it’s part of the job.  At least, in that moment, I created a memory….a memory of success each student can take with them, a memory where someone was proud of them, a memory where they shined on stage because, after the music stops, all that’s left are the memories.



7 thoughts on “Post-Performance Depression

  1. I do understand what you are talking about I used to compete in vocal solos and it is a lot of work for that one moment.

    Glad you liked the Red Velvet cookies.


  2. I experience this as a performer. I can also say that no amount of congratulations or celebration afterward can chase that melancholy away. Sometimes, for me, it makes it worse.

    Thank you for the post. It’s consoling to know I’m not the only one who feels this way.

    • Thanks for reading and leaving a comment. After writing this, I’ve discovered that there are many others that feel the let-down after a performance. It’s comforting to know its a common feeling.

      Thanks again!


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