1. I seem to be having this dilemma more and more recently. I play the piano, but am nowhere near the skill level I was in high school, nor do I feel comfortable playing in formal circumstances. Playing at my house for my friends, sure. Playing in a recital? Noooo. I’ve recently had friends ask me to play in their weddings, the very thought of which makes me anxious. How do I say no without them thinking I’m being rude or silly about it? I just feel like I have to always explain myself and they don’t understand why I can’t just perform on command.

    • “I really don’t feel comfortable performing at such an important event.” If pressed, keeping repeating yourself or go on to say, “I would get so anxious that I wouldn’t enjoy the festivities. But here is the contact info for a professional pianist….” Acknowledging your limitations isn’t rude.

      I know Winifred R. on this forum is a professional musician; perhaps she’ll have another suggestion for you.

  2. Jody

    BC I can sympathize with your situation. I think the best idea is to tell people as soon as they ask you that you appreciate their request but that you no longer play for formal occasions (or weddings, or whatever they’re asking you for). If they press you for more reasons, it’s up to you to decide what to tell them. As long as you’re pleasant about it your friends should be OK with it.

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