Tips to Overcome Stage Fright
Stage fright affects almost all musicians in one way or another. When I was a child, I could have played in front of anyone without batting an eyelash! (Music lessons can also build confidence in kids and adults.) But as I got older and self-critical, stage fright and all kinds of anxiety set in.
The first time I sang in public I was so nervous that I was visibly shaking and I could not feel my arms at all! For years and years I suffered with performance anxiety until the day came where I could not prepare enough for a very difficult piece I was going to play.
I knew that I was going to make mistakes when I performed. It was like a new world; my stage fright was gone!
I no longer had anxiety because I gave myself permission to be human, to make mistakes, to make music rather than to create a “perfect performance.” I still struggle with it sometimes, but here are some other tips to help cope with stage fright!
Eight Tips To Overcome Stage Fright
- Take deep breaths. This may sound simple, but taking deep breaths helps lower your blood pressure and your heart rate.
- Sleep well the night before and do not consume any caffeinated products before performing.
- Eat a banana! The potassium in the banana will help stop your muscles from shaking.
- Create a safe place that you can close your eyes and retreat to before the performance: you can imagine a deserted beach, hollow tree, your grandmother’s house, or any other visual that you find comforting.
- Focus on creating music and not on mistakes or what the audience thinks.
- Remind yourself that this is something that you love to do!
- Think positive thoughts about the performance.
- Refuse to tear yourself down.
With the above eight tips for overcoming stage fright, you’ll be able to enjoy and benefit from your live performance.
About Terry Doyon
A notable graduate of Bridgewater State University. Terry teaches Flute, Voice, Sax, Piano and Music Theory and Composition. Besides teaching at Rick’s Music World, she performs as a pit musician throughout Mass & RI s well as a solo vocalist and choir singer.
Terry’s goal as a teacher is: “To help my students grow as both performers and musicians.” She welcomes any student with a ready-to-learn attitude!