by Columbus Music Schools on 03/10/15
What do Van Cliburn, Elton John and Barbra Streisand have in common? They all admit to experiencing terrible stage fright. So if the thought of performing at an upcoming recital or event unleashes butterflies in your stomach, you’re in pretty good company.
No matter how experienced or proficient a musician may be, performing in front of an audience can be nerve wracking. But there are ways to cope, give a great performance and enjoy yourself. Here are a few time-honored tips:
- Be Positive: There’s just no benefit in mentally rehearsing all the possible things that could go wrong. Chances are, they won’t happen. And if they do, it’s not the end of the world. Most audiences (especially those at amateur performances) are forgiving and understanding. They are there to enjoy themselves and be supportive, not look for errors.
- Play with Passion: You can play less than perfectly and still give a great performance. The audience probably won’t notice a missed note or two if they feel a connection with you and your piece. Play from the heart and focus on conveying the emotion of the piece, not just on executing perfect technique.
- Fake It: Pretending to be relaxed is the next best thing to actually being relaxed. Take a deep breath, stand up or sit up straight, smile, and act as if there is no place else on earth you’d rather be. This technique really does work, and is widely used by therapists to treat stress, anxiety and even depression.