Karin Schaupp interviewed in the Daily Telegraph

Stage fright won’t rock this guitarist
Ingrid Piper, Daily Telegraph
21 February 2013

KS1In the music world, drugs are usually associated with raves or rock ‘n’ roll, so it’s a shock to learn classical musicians are using them to perform.

Internationally renowned guitarist Karin Schaupp says many musicians use beta blockers to overcome stage fright.

“A lot of my colleagues take beta blockers. It’s very common, particularly in orchestras,” she says.

Schaupp is an expert in stage fright, having recognised at an early age it was a hurdle she needed to overcome. “I became very determined that I had to overcome it because I wanted to make music my career,” she says.

With her mother’s help, she investigated relaxation and imagery techniques used by elite athletes, doing her honours and masters in developing a program to overcome stage fright.

“Stage fright, it’s a vicious cycle for a lot of people, you sort of become scared of the stage fright and once you can break that cycle it almost becomes a habit not to have it,” she says. “There are still situations that are scary and I still use the techniques occasionally.”

Brisbane-based Schaupp is about to tour nationally with acclaimed Czech musician Pavel Steidl. The duo decided on their Musica Viva program last year, but with two weeks to fine tune it, it required an intensive rehearsal period.

“Even though we’ve been practising on the other side of the world, I feel that when we start rehearsing it’s all going to click into place. I’m quite confident,” she says.

“Pavel is an incredible guitarist, he uses the instrument beyond its capacity and he is an amazing performer. He performs with total freedom and abandon. He takes risks musically which is something I really admire.”

As well as her concert performances, Schaupp has an extensive recording career but one is particularly close to her heart.

Cradle Song, a collection of lullabies, came about because Schaupp noticed certain melodies soothed her baby daughter.

“Cradle song has attracted more attention than anything else I’ve done recently because there’s nothing else like it,” she says.

“The art of the lullaby seemed to have been lost. We’re all so busy with stimulating children that these days we’ve lost this music.”

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