Tackling Stage Fright


Tips to Overcome Stage Fright

Music Teacher Terry Doyon
by Terry Doyon

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.

Performance Anxiety

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

  1. Take deep breaths. This may sound simple, but taking deep breaths helps lower your blood pressure and your heart rate.
  2. Sleep well the night before and do not consume any caffeinated products before performing.
  3. Eat a banana! The potassium in the banana will help stop your muscles from shaking.
  4. 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.
  5. Focus on creating music and not on mistakes or what the audience thinks.
  6. Remind yourself that this is something that you love to do!
  7. Think positive thoughts about the performance.
  8. 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!

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