Everyone has experienced nerves in situations like public speaking or a job interview, but musicians have found a way to curb their nerves when they are on stage. Beta-blockers, or Inderal, has become a prevalent drug in the classical music world. Some musicians get so nervous their hands shake, palms sweat, and mind races; essentially, they have “stage fright”. After practicing countless hours, this can be an extremely frustrating for the musicians greatly affected by nerves. Because beta-blockers relax the heart, keep hands from shaking, and allow for clearer thought about other things rather than nerves in a performance, no wonder many musicians recommend or turn to this drug for performances. The drug is legal and can be obtained from a doctor easily, although some musicians get the drug on tour in other countries where it is sold over the counter. Beta-blockers were created for patients with abnormal heart rhythms and they can take up to 800 milligrams, whereas musicians take 10 milligrams prior to a performance. Performers that use it say it makes them feel completely normal, does not enhance their playing in any way, and helps them produce the sound they create in a practice room. Even though this drug does not make a musician play better, is it right to have this advantage over others, especially in an audition setting? Does this relate to drug use in the athletic world? Decades ago, musicians would turn to alcohol before a performance, so is this a better alternative to that if it just keeps your heart from racing and the performer feels completely normal?
Inderal 10 mg
I think John Rawls would be opposed to this drug use in the classical music world. Rawls believed that society should help the less fortunate. In this situation, many professional musicians use beta-blockers, so what about all the other musicians unaware of the drug or opposed to it taking the same audition? They do not have the advantage if they also have severe stage fright. Some musicians choose not to take it because they thrive off the adrenaline in a performance setting. Others think it creates an artificial performance, and no one should rely on a drug. Maybe Rawls would say the best way to help the less fortunate is to get rid of the drug in the music world all together. Some musicians are fortunate to have very expensive instruments, better teaching, and live in places with better music organizations. Why add a drug to strengthen the gap between the less fortunate musicians, and those with access to a better education in music?
Do you think it is wrong for musicians to use this drug even if it has no side effects in such a small dose and just makes a performer feel normal? Is it fair for some musicians to use it even if it is legally obtained from their doctor and recommended by their teacher? Is it fair for some to use it even if others are aware of it and choose not to for ethical reasons? Do you agree that Rawls would oppose it? Should there be rules in the music world like there are in athletics about drugs?
“Trade-offs across lives should be avoided, and replaced by a system of priorities for the most serious needs and interests” (John Rawls)