Imagine Edvard Munch’s well known painting, “The Scream” ? that’s how many Eastman students look these days.

The fact that jury week starts Monday is enough to send many students into a panic.

Nonetheless, there are definitely ways to avoid ending up in a dark corner stroking your shotgun. Juries don’t have to be so bad if you know how to relax beforehand. Here are a couple of things you can do in the few remaining days to help you keep cool and play your best in the end.


One of the best ways to get rid of stress is to work out. Exercising sends a signal to your pituitary gland to release endorphins, which naturally relieve pain and induce feelings of well-being and relaxation.

However, you don’t need to be part of the Y to engage in some healthy exercise. The Goergen Athletic Center on River Campus ? that big building with the dandelion on it, across from Wilson Commons ? is free for all Eastman students. However, if you don’t want to make the trek over to the River Campus, there are plenty ways to work up a sweat right in our own backyard. For instance, run up and down all 14 flights of the tower in the dorm. Or, walk to Blockbuster instead of taking the EZ Rider.

Indulge yourself

Sometimes when you’re stressed out, all you need is a little self-indulgence to help the tension ease away. Watch a movie, take a super-long shower, eat a second helping of dessert, masturbate, whatever.

Allowing yourself a little diversion will help take your mind off of the feelings of impending doom that you may be experiencing.

Get a little violent

There are times when practice can be so frustrating that you just want to break something. So, why not break something? Carrots work perfectly ? you can pretend that it’s your oboe or your violin snapping in two. Or, try ripping old newspapers into tiny shreds. You can start with this one if need be.

Try yelling obscenities to enhance the experience.

This may not sound very relaxing, but sometimes it’s better to watch your frustrations escape in a burst of newspaper confetti than to hold it in until you yourself feel like bursting.

Realign your thinking

Have you ever heard the saying, “If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it?” It may sound like a clich, but it’s true.

One thing to keep in mind is that the faculty watching want you to do well ? they’re not trying to trick you or hoping that you fall flat on your face. It can be intimidating playing for the whole faculty in your department, but knowing that they’re on your side will help make it easier.

Use auto-suggestion to turn your nervousness into excitement. Right before you perform, when you can feel your heart pounding and your forehead collecting beads of sweat, tell yourself that what you’re feeling isn’t fear ? it’s exhilaration. It’s simple, but you’ll find yourself dying to run onto the stage, instead of away from it.

For the finale

In the end, don’t forget to put it all in perspective. As a musician, one has to go through many instances of evaluation based on just a few minutes of playing, and this is just one of those moments.

Whether or not you play well, a jury is a good experience and will help you deal with similar situations as they arise in the future.

Grabowski can be reached at

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