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Motivational Series Part 1: Dealing with Insecurity

Motivational Series Part 1: Dealing with Insecurity


Hey everyone! I’m very excited to be presenting you a
new four part motivational talk series that’ll address the various issues that musicians
often have to deal with. Now most of this comes from my personal experiences but I hope that my experiences will be able to help you and anyone else whom you might
know deal with issues that are similar to this. Part One is: Insecurity is something everyone has to deal with no matter what field you’re in. It’s the negative feelings we unknowingly
develop inside ourselves. Somewhere between the time when you were a
kid and first discovering your instrument, to when you became older, and more serious music suddenly became less fun and more of a chore. Where even the thought of music has attached
itself to a constant worry Worrying about the future, worrying about if you’re good
enough. “If only you could just stop caring, just
for one moment… But that’s not part of being a good musician,
right?” This constant necessity to sound good; in front of your fellow students to sound good in front of your teachers; for your parents to sound good all the time. What happened to the music? Oh and your emotions – they’re so dependent
on your playing. When you play well, things are OK, in fact
they’re great. But come next week, when things don’t go well
in your lesson or on stage, you feel useless. Inadequate. Where each time you open your case you’re
greeted by an overwhelming sense of: “You’re not good enough”. To the point where it starts to affect who
you are and how you live your life. It chips away at your confidence, all because
you can’t separate the musician you from the you you. On the stage it can turn into a paralyzing
fear which grips you. What happened to all those hours of practice? What caused you to be so scared that you had
a blackout moment in front of all these people? And all of those awful experiences only cause
you to doubt yourself more. Perhaps you shouldn’t be a musician after
all. Just give up. After all, you probably won’t even make it. Ooook let’s hit the pause button right there All these voices in your head, they’re the
evil voices which feed upon your insecurity. Let’s start by writing down a few of the
things that affect you in a negative way. Here are some of mine from when I was younger: I’m scared of being judged by my fellow
students. I’m scared no one will want to play chamber
music with me I’m scared my teacher will hate me. I’m scared I won’t have a career one day And now I want you to write yours down too and take a good long look at it. When you’re ready to say goodbye to your
fears, I want you to destroy them. Remember why you chose to play music. Remember the first time you touched an instrument. When the joy of discovery was far more important
than making sure the notes were perfect. You’re an artist. What you have to say musically is worth sharing
because it brings people joy. You might not think so, but that’s not your
decision to make whether or not someone else loves what you do. Every time you feel the darkness, I want you
to say this: I play music because I need to express my
emotions. I am a communicator. The will of the composer lives on in me and together, the weight of our emotions will inspire you. And just remember, music is all about accumulating
as many special moments as possible. Those moments that draw us in and leave us
breathless, following along with every note that you play those are the moments which stay with us for a very long time. But you’re not alone. I believe in you.

Comments (95)

  1. First like, first comment.

  2. Thanks for this- it really helps knowing that everyone does go through these thoughts!

  3. Thank you for sharing this video!

  4. When the HARMONICS video?

  5. Thanks for such an inspirational vid.. I personally struggle with vibrato because i dunno my hands are thin (bony) 😫 and my fingers are very hard to move.. i am thankful to see professional violinist share opinions and extend help to people like me who are having emotional distress.. so good job 👏🏼☺️ and continue to be an inspiration to others 😍😘❤️❤️

  6. I just broke down today because I feel like I will never be good enough and I'm disappointing everyone including my self. This video is like a gift from heaven prepared for me. Thank you.

  7. Thank you so much, Mr. Chen! These issues with insecurities have been something I've always dealed with- especially now as I have graduated and began studying violin performance in college. You're such an inspiration to me. Thank you for making the time to make this!

  8. Well that’s long enough for a new vid :v really good vid btw, i have negative thoughts about being a artist too, thank you so much for this

  9. I hate to play the violin when I could just breakdown at any moment. I know there should be professionalism (like dont bring your problems to work) but I wish the concertmaster (in my case, who's really insensitive) would be more understanding that some musicians have serious mental health issues. And hello? there's been quite a lot of musicians committing suicide nowadays.
    Just placing this out there..

    A huge thankyou to Ray bae for starting a Motivational series and I hope many artists from around the world would get to watch it. 💕

  10. Thank you so much for this Ray, this is the best motivation video I have ever seen. Thank you thank you thank youuuu

  11. Fantastic video man! 😍

  12. I love this video!! Youre so right! And one thing Ive learned and am still learning as a musician is that you have to face your insecurities, like it is with all your insecurities and fears. Go on stage and if you might have failed in a way, maybe because you were nervous, go on stage again. And again. It will make you stronger and the insecurities wont control the fun anymore. And the best thing is, to have friends around you during your performance who always believe in you!😊

  13. Thanks for this clip Ray!!

  14. What a great timing! I was about to start audition video recording. Thank you so much!!!!

  15. lots of love to you Ray and everyone!! Thank you for this

  16. Thank you so much¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡

  17. This video was something I really needed. Insecurieties are something I've always dealt with. Having started to play the violin at age 16 gave me so much pressure. I wanted to fullfill my expectations and the ones of the people surrounding me. Yet I compared myself with others my age (most of them having started at the age of 6 or even younger) making myself feel really bad.
    Great job Ray! This video was beautifully done. It has touched my heart which resulted in teary eyes…

  18. Luv this idea, thank you so much 😊💛

  19. Thanks Ray, that was so inspiring

  20. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much!! ❤️💜

  21. Thanks you so much RAY❤️❤️
    This last 2 years, I start to ask my this question, why?, Why am like this? As a musician and person, Is normal to feel scared, and insecure all the time?. I'm a very shy person,and have that constantly necessity of do things well, sound good, in front of the persons I know,(as you said). I started to play violin when I was 8 and now I have 16 yo, the first six year I play with a bad posture(bow, left hand) and the teachers a I had ,never told me the things i was doing bad. And in that time I didn't know it. 2 years ago, my friend who play viola know a Armenian teacher, and my friend told- i know you, and you tell and I see, that you love classical music, and want to be violinist and I don't want to see you, wasting your time here(youth orchestra). He present me the teacher, and he told me that every thing of my posture was bad 😂. Now As time passes, I start to feel sad, I cried during my practices, and didn't know what to do… But this day I start to live every day, and not think about what might happen in the future.
    Ray, thanks for all your words, motivational videos, thank you for inspiring me 🎶

  22. Touching hearts 💛

  23. thank you so much for making this video….just today i had a breakdown after playing because i kept thinking "i'll never be good enough" and "i'll never be as good as i expect myself to be". Playing the violin in a way has really affected my self esteem and emotions in negative ways – a lot of the time i feel that i'm worthless since violin is basically the only thing i do outside of school, but i don't even feel like i'm that good at it. this makes me think that i'm not capable of being good at anything. i'm always afraid of disappointing my teacher even though i know he won't get mad at me if i sound bad; rather i'm afraid of that he'll think i didn't practice, when i truly put a lot of effort into doing so. after seeing this video it will serve as a reminder to me that i play music for a deeper reason than just wanting people to think i sound good.

  24. Up until 2:20 I was thinking "Wait what how is this gonna help I'm feeling even worse now"

    Good thing I kept watching.

  25. Good thing I started late so I don't even have hopes 😛

  26. I struggle with the practice time. I don't practice enough because I easily give up when some kind of difficulty comes along the way, and I feel so guilty for this. I start telling myself that I'm lazy, that I'm not passionate enough, because if I were, I would practice all the time… but you know what? These are just excuses that your mind tells ourselves to justify our fears. We need to push forward, we need to overcome our insecurities. We can f*cking do it, COME ON!!!!

  27. I believe in you, too, Ray!

  28. Omg it's Atlanta symphony hall I remember bc I stood on the stage and it's sooo majestic

  29. Encourage me so much!! Especially before the chamber music performance tomorrow, thanks, Ray Chen!!!!

  30. l can’t believe how much l just got moved from watching a 4 minute video. Thank you for being such an amazing influencer to music students across the globe. You have been truly inspiring.

  31. Thank you!👍🙆

  32. love it sooooooo much!thanks

  33. This is the most beautiful video I've seen in a long time and it has such an important message, brought tears to my eyes!!

  34. I gotta admit, I shed a tear or two watching this…
    .
    .
    .
    Or perhaps seven
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Jk I bawled. Thank you, Ray! Thanks for inspiring us all 😭💖❤

  35. I love playing the violin but I hate practicing violin. I been playing the violin since 3 years ago. I love you ray Chen your really funny!!!! Your violin is really good I can't wait for you to come to Canada Vancouver near ubc I'm going!!!!!!!!!!!! 3 row tickets!!!!!! I really admire you are the person who got me into playing the violin

  36. 0:20–2:15 is so relatable it makes me cry. It's good to know I'm not the only one who has feelings like these.

  37. Loved the video Ray!

  38. Thanks so much Ray this video resonates with me a lot

  39. Dear Ray, thank you for this phenomenal idea of sharing and motivating with others.  At first I thought it was a little dramatic, but then a tear appeared out of nowhere!  I guess drama and passion are related.  You are a fantastic violinist and impassioned humanist.  Looking forward to the next video on this subject.

  40. Thank you! I have an audition tomorrow and i’ve had an anxiety since yesterday. This message helps a lot. Thank you❤️

  41. Dear Ray, you put the emotions into the right words and filled the words with emotion. This is SO important and I think that you will help so many by doing this great video with the message that every musician / other artist needs to deal with. I myself know those thoughts too well and I want to make a video about this theme this year .. I am so positively impressed by your way of telling the story, it has this pure and meditational touch and I couldn't help but had tears in my eyes. Indeed you're not only such great violinist but also mentor! Thank you! With the best wishes for the new year ☘🎻😊 Lelie

  42. You are the best!!

  43. Thank you Ray , you don't know how much motivation you gave me 💜
    Hope to play with you one day

  44. Wow!!! Fantastic message, i'll take, own and Share it. Thanks a lot Ray, great video from a great person.

  45. I have had no motivation to do anything  which made me doubt myself if I truly love music or not for a long time. When you said "I play music because I need to express my emotions" I started to cry. Yes, this is the moment that I identify myself as a musician, it's all about bringing joy and personal emotions to people who also care about music as you do. Thank you so much Ray, this video is really inspiring.

  46. Very true at 2:21 about the evil voices in our head. We gotta make sure that God has promised us a beautiful now and then. As a child of God, we shouldn't believe in the liar's voice. 🙂 It doesn't matter if people are listening or not. But I am sure that God listens and appreciate it. Just play it for your genuine and faithful listener of all time 🙂 God bless you!

  47. I cried.. so touching

  48. Woow why dont you have more subscribers ….:(

  49. Thanks for sharing!I always admire people who are open with their true emotions and feelings, acknowledging them, accepting and confronting them!

  50. This is how a true artist thinks. Thank you for reminding us 🙂 #rayinspires

  51. Oh my gosh! Ray, thank you so much for this video! 🌷🎻

  52. This made me cry like a little girl lol. So glad I got to see you in Sergestrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa for your Beethoven concerto

  53. Damn… I don't think a video ever hit me so hard and accurately. These are the exact insecurities I'm having trouble with right now (and not just music, with anything). Damn, it even literally made me cry hahahah, but thank you so much for this. I will continue, I don't want to give this up, I want to grow bigger, I probably won't be a professional, but I can try to get close to being one

  54. I'm freaking crying- I have felt this way for so so so many years now- I'm in my first year of high school and I'm utterly terrified of never making it into a music school

  55. Thank you so much for this video – it’s about time people paid attention to the underlying doubt that most, if not all, musicians feel, rather than expecting performances to be note-perfect. I think it’s so important for professionals to connect with their audiences, and giving advice like this helps us to remember that even you, as players with a whole wealth of experience, feel insecure. I love this series already; thank you again ♡

  56. I play the piano and playing it in front of people is probably the most nerve wrecking thing in my life. Those voices are real. They cause a great fear inside of me until the point I would just panic and completely giving up on the pieces. This is such a beautiful video that touches my heart. I cried over it because this is something that has been bothering me ever since I started to play the piano and I am glad I am slowly making progress now.

  57. Why did this make me cry 😢

  58. Watch TwoSetViolin’s Motivational Video.

    “You’re better than your excuses.”

  59. please make the second part 🙁

  60. This video just made me cry but in a good sense thank you so much for this video it’s really really important for everyone

  61. I literally cried seeing the whole video. Thank you for inspiring me. I love you and take care.

  62. This. 😭😭😭😭❤️❤️❤️❤️ Thank you, Ray.

  63. hi chen.im from iran. see How do Iranian people play violin?
    https://youtu.be/V16pgX-X74k
    if u can play like this, record a video and show me.
    موفق باشی

  64. I'm Stereotyping … but that white guy really doesn't look like a violin teacher.

  65. Dang it, who left the onion ninjas…

  66. Such wisdom from a young man. I suppose communication really is his thing.

  67. Thank you so much for making this video. You are so kind. That explains why your music sounds so beautiful.

  68. Aww, Ray you're so cool.

  69. Please make part 2…

  70. this is so good please complete all the parts ;-;

  71. ive watched this a million times and it has helped me so much. And now that i'm finally not as emotional as i used to be everytime the video ends, i finally noticed that Ray didn't do the "pew pew pew pew" hand gun thingie before going on stage XD lol

  72. I don't want to be alone so I tell people that I don't practice, just because I am scared…
    I have a friend that I love and he is the only one who knows that I practice everyday☺ I love you❤

  73. Thanks Ray it was really helpful. I appreciate it.

  74. Do another video like this.

  75. I got goosebumps..
    Thank you so much

  76. I'm not a musician, but this reached me.

  77. I cried with this video. In two days I am gonna start conservatory and I was always with fears, always insecure on stage. But now, with this motivational video, I am feeling better, I think that I can do everything with music, because music it's not only about getting better, also to express feelings, emotions… My own emotions! I feel happier. Thanks Ray, you're amazing 😄❤

  78. Thank you so much for all the advices!!!

  79. I'm actually not a violinist, but I have to say that this one is really good!

  80. Im sitting in the bathroom crying rn cuz i think im not good enough and this video came up on my recommended. This rlly helped me

  81. Thats a really beautiful video. Yes, me too, somedays I feel like I got s*** in my hands, or my body is not responding good enough. I always hate myself at this moment, I start to ask "it's because I don't sleep enough or not eating good food enough. Or I'm stressed and my body wants to show me more that playing music". It's hard to feel good in our skin during this moment. And after, here the evil things come.. "am I not good enough", "all this work is for nothing" "all this is a dream, have to go back on Earth girl, it's not for you"… I try so hard to convince myself it's a bad day, tomorrow it will be better. Or if its a failure because of body tension, practice in a way I can relax my muscles. Sometimes it works and I'm proud to get everything in control. All these insecurities and fears are part of human being and we have to find a way to deal with, emotions is a part of violin, but we have to play, we love music. I discussed with a contempory painter, and he told me this precious advice "you can have no confidence in yourself (you you) but you have to believe in your work (music)". Separate both the feelings and the mind needed for the violin, and the "personal mind". Like it's two separate brains. This advice really had an impact with me, and I find some simularities with this video. Thank Ray!! It's always pleasant to see virtuoso musicians put a word on practice/difficulty musical process 🙂

  82. This is an amazing video. I can't thank you enough.

  83. It’s kinda hard to take him seriously after all those comedy videos he made.

  84. Stumbled upon this for the first time today, and . . . I cried. So hard. I learned to play piano when I was 4 and cello when I was 5, and I absolutely loved it. We discovered I was talented early on, so my parents pushed to get me to the best teachers they could get me to. I didn't work as hard as I could've – my teachers (and mom, especially) were very adamant about reminding me that I had great potential that could be realized if I'd only work hard enough – but I didn't care. I played and dreamed (big) because I loved it, because music spoke to my soul, and I didn't care whether it was right or not.

    Right before I turned 13, we moved and I became unable to take lessons for a variety of reasons (financing, finding a good teacher, busy with other things, etc.). Those years were rough and dark; I felt the music being crushed out of my soul often and I even nearly quit playing all together at one point in there. But somehow, even though I barely even touched the piano or pulled my cello out of its case, and even though I did quit dreaming, I didn't quit playing. Somehow I didn't feel I could.

    I was 13 nearly 5 years ago; currently, I'm nearly 18 and a senior in highschool. This past spring I developed the crazy idea to become a music major in college even though I'd barely done anything with music throughout the past 5 years. Coming back to music has been . . . interesting, to say the least. I'm much more aware of my mistakes, the odds stacked against me, and just how far I have to go and how much I should've worked harder. Not helping things is that 2 weeks ago from writing this, I went to a string camp and because I went from nearly not-playing to playing so much in one week, I left string camp with a playing-inurcured injury. The injury, although minor enough to the point where it will heal if I rest it, has still caused me to think a lot: what if it doesn't recover? What if I can't become a musician? What if I'm just crazy for attempting all this?

    I played my first gig yesterday (my best friend's wedding) and . . . Due tosa lot of nerves and having to switch pieces to something easier because I injured myself, it did not go nearly as well as I hoped it would. Funny enough to me, however, no one noticed the mistakes. No one had anything negative to say about my performance. And everyone (including my mom, who is very good at critiquing my performances) told me how much they enjoyed it. I was very confused over this yesterday. I'm not now.

    Somehow in all those years, I had forgotten (or maybe I had just never learned) that music is (and can be) an emotional display built to bring joy to and inspire those around you. I'd forgotten that my main goal shouldn't always be to get every note, phrase, bow, bowing, dynamic, emotion, etc. right – and most importantly, I dont think I ever realized before today that my opinion will not and cannot determine whether or not others love my playing.

    So . . . Thank you, Ray, for producing this video. Tbh, I don't know that I'll ever see music and my playing in particular in the same way again 🙂

  85. I’m watching this just about to go into a lesson and I feel so much better about how I’m going to play now. Thanks Ray, you were the person who inspired.

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