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I play second violin in a local amateur orchestra. When we play concerts we always seem slightly worse in the second half. Why? I'm not sure if it's because we all breath a collective sigh of relief during the interval or some accident of the concert programming (our repertoire is light classical music) or something else. And does anyone have any hints or tips on how to prevent this?

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Looks like a fatigue+attention issue — after a brief period of firm focus it only gets harder to keep concentration, and more and more unrelated thoughts leak into the head, especially if you are used to playing the piece. You can try to drink coffee and eat some glucose during the break and see if it helps. –  Mischa Arefiev Sep 27 '12 at 9:39
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What happens when you program your best repertoire on the second half of the concert? –  NReilingh Oct 2 '12 at 3:31
    
I was wondering that Nick. Next concert I may (once the programme's decided) suggest swapping the halves! –  dumbledad Oct 2 '12 at 17:47
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Hints or tricks: as it was said by Mischa, drinking coffee and eating glucose (for example fruits- fruit salad is in my opinion the best to make concentration time longer) is something you should try.
Some may try also some kind of special medicine for drivers.

I would add fresh air- just open any window and breath deeply for a few seconds.

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