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Getting Over Stage Fright

by Phil Barrow February 20, 2017
A young girl anxiously looks through a curtain.

No matter your age, stage fright is something that so many of us experience. Shaky legs, sweaty palms – whether it’s a small or large crowd, it can be enough to make us completely avoid any situation that may require us to stand up and be seen or heard.

But for those who enjoy certain activities such as playing music, something as simple (and daunting) as stage fright can become such an inhibition that can place a frustrating limitation on doing something that truly you enjoy.

If you find that stage fright is holding you back from showing off your musical talent, try out some of these tips that might just help you get over your nerves and feel confident in front of a crowd.

Meditate

Meditation is a strategy that many stage performers use before getting up in front of a crowd. Spending a few minutes prior to a performance to sit in silence and calm your thoughts and nerves by focusing on your breathing is an excellent way to relax your body and get your mind in a state of calm.

Practice

Nothing will stir up your nerves more than being unprepared when you get up on stage. When public performance is an issue for you, there can never be such a thing as too much practice. Knowing your stuff thoroughly can drastically help improve your confidence and allow your fear to quickly dissipate as you begin. Dedicate plenty of time to rehearsals and work with your teacher during private music lessons. Make sure that you know your piece off by heart so that when your nerves kick in, your muscle memory will still know what to do.

Talk to Yourself

A proven way to reprogram your state of mind is by talking to yourself.  Spend some time in front of a mirror (alone) and talk yourself out of your fear and stage fright. Much of what we fear originates from simple, repetitive thoughts that float consistently through our mind. By dedicating time each day to telling yourself otherwise, you can actually reprogram your thoughts and begin to shed that fear.

Visualize the Outcome

Focus on the positive outcome. Set yourself up to succeed before you even set foot on stage. This can easily be incorporated into those meditative moments, or even during those meaningful conversations you will be having with yourself.

Even the most experienced performers can still feel anxious and nervous when it’s time to hit the stage. But it really comes down to not allowing your fear to prevent you from doing something that you love. And by practicing some of these techniques on a regular basis, you can help ease your body and mind and get over that stage fright.

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Phil Barrow

Phil discovered his passion for music in his early teens when he began learning to play the guitar. He attended the VCC School of Music where he studied jazz and contemporary guitar performance. Phil joined Resound as a guitar teacher in 2013 and has been the school’s Director since 2014.

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