Overcoming your stage fright.

It is common for musicians to experience stage fright. Performing for an audience and adjudicator panel can be a daunting experience for musicians, especially for beginners unaccustomed to playing in front of an audience. It is not a regular occurrence that musicians have the opportunity to play in front of an audience. More often than not, musicians find themselves playing or practicing alone.

 Musicians are likely to perform more than once during their careers.
Therefore, it is crucial to acknowledge your anxiety
and develop techniques that help you overcome your stage fright.

Overcoming Your Stage Fright

Be Prepared

Preparing yourself is an essential step in overcoming stage fright. When you feel confident, you are less likely to feel anxious about the quality of your performance.

To feel prepared, it is recommended to practice repeatedly until you have fully memorized the song. This will not only build your confidence as you don’t need to rely on reading the notes, but this will also limit the chances of you blacking out during a performance due to nerves.

Overcoming your stage fright.

Don’t Doubt Yourself

As you near your performance date, it is normal to feel self-doubt. However, doubting yourself will only heighten your anxiety and increase the chances of mistakes. Instead of dwelling on negative thoughts, it is important to have a positive mindset and focus on your strengths and abilities.

If you are experiencing self-doubt and can’t shake it away, shift your mind to any past accomplishments. Focusing on your past successes and all the times you performed well will reassure your mind.

Avoid Practicing New Techniques Before a Performance

Practicing new techniques right before a performance will only increase your anxiety and affect your performance. When we decide to practice new techniques before a performance, it is often because we are starting to doubt our abilities. You may even notice yourself making more mistakes when you do so as you are overwhelming your mind with new information.

Rather than practicing new techniques, use that time to polish and refine what you have already mastered.

How to overcome your stage fright.

Change the Narrative

Don’t let your mind control you with negative thoughts; you can change the narrative and how you perceive your thoughts. Instead, reframe those thoughts as excitement. Harness the energy you are feeling and put that towards positivity.

To help reframe your thoughts, engage in positive self-talk, read affirmations, and visualize your success. This will help you approach your performance with a positive mindset and increase your chances of success.

Breathing Exercises

One of the most common techniques to deal with anxiety is breathing exercises. Focusing on your breathing is a great way to tune out the rest of the world and distract yourself from your negative thoughts.

Let’s try a breathing exercise together. As you follow each step, make sure to count 4 seconds and remember to focus on your breathing rather than your thoughts!

Breathe in…Hold…Breathe out…Hold.

In addition, “box breathing” is a popular exercise that helps you slow down your breathing as it distracts your mind by counting to 4 seconds for each step and keeping your eyes fixed on the box. Watch this box breathing video on the right and follow along to help you reduce your feelings of anxiety.

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