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 any crowd.
“We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.” ―
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 your 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.
“Quiet the mind, and the soul will speak.” – Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati
Meditation is a strategy that many stage performers use before getting up in front of a crowd. Spending a few moments 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.
Take this moment to visualize the positive outcome. Set yourself up to succeed before you even set foot onstage. This can easily be incorporated into your practice regime and you prepare for an upcoming performance.
Letting Go of “Perfect”
“Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” ―
If it’s your first time performing onstage, don’t set the bar too high. Just mustering the courage to perform in front of others is already a huge accomplishment on its own. Forget playing your piece perfectly, and aim to just play it all the way through. It’s never going to be perfect anyway (whatever that means), so strive for good enough, and work to improve a little bit more each time you perform.
Lastly, don’t forget to have fun along the way! Recitals are supposed to be an enjoyable experience, and an opportunity to showcase all your hard work in your music lessons. Remember that 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.