Performance Anxiety and Memorisation: Tricks to Help You Avoid Having Memory Slips Under Pressure on Stage
Performance anxiety affects many people, especially when playing from memory. I've seen students with shaking hands, where the bow skitters across the strings; tears before going on stage; memory freezes; locked limbs. I had one student who was sweating so much in a lesson that her right hand kept sliding off the frog and up the bow stick - she lost control of her bow hold and her ability to do certain bow strokes or approach the piece in the way she wanted to.
First and foremost, performance is a mental game: it's about working through what is happening psychologically and finding the right outlook. A lot of people get nervous because they wait until when it really counts to perform a piece from memory for the first time, at a recital or in front of a jury. This might not just be bad planning: it could also be because of fear. When I was an undergraduate, I'd schedule a recital and then two to three months beforehand my stomach would seize up whenever I thought about it, wherever I was, and I'd get cold sweats. If the first time you perform something from memory is when it really matters then of course that will be even more terrifying.
Hodges, Brian. (2018). "Performance Anxiety and Memorisation: Tricks to Help You Avoid Having Memory Slips Under Pressure on Stage". Strad, 129(1539), 78-81.