Have you ever found yourself performing on stage and the person in the front row is tapping his feet and you wonder whether youre maintaining the beat? As you are looking around, do you see a few people whispering and chatting away to each other? Do you get worried what they are discussing? Perhaps your image isnt right your hair has moved out of place, or if youre singing, your voice is a little croaky. If youre wearing a trouser, do they see your zip undone? Maybe they are discussing how strangely your talent is showing through? Or are they commenting on what youve missed out?
Perhaps you make several mistakes and your students, teachers, parents, partners are watching. What are they going to say later? Are they going to be very disappointed? Do you think about the rest of the crowd will they demand their money back? Your are shaking and pale its all visible from afar! Are you sure this is really what you are meant to be doing?
Stop there! Are you feeling like this? Have you ever felt similar to this? First of all, let me make it clear that youre not alone. Performance anxiety exists with so many people from various professions to various levels. It all begins when our mind wanders and loses the concentration that you need.
As a musician, I used to experience a lot of this at times when I found it hard to play at various places however Ive come up with the top 5 ways for me to get over any anxiety I have and play with unstoppable confidence!
Here are my top 5 ways to demolishing performance anxiety:
Number 1: You have practiced to the best of your ability.
This is key. Ensure you remind, or constantly tell yourself that you have practiced well enough before your performance. For this particular performance, you are ready and going to give the audience the show of their life! Perhaps your playing can be better than what you think but for this situation, you are ready to go.
Number 2: Dont Guess!
If you see people tapping their feet, talking to each other, or anything else, dont second guess. You will probably be wrong anyhow as its your perception (remember no 1 at this point)! Your guesses normally prove to be inaccurate and if you let it be with you it will remove you from continuing to portray your feelings.
Number 3: Dont Self-Judge
If you see anything happening in the audience or from your performance, dont judge for yourself. Remember from Number 1, you are out to give the audience the show of their life dont spoil it especially when you dont know what it is! Dont Self-Judge! Doing this will take your out of the moment and destroys the flow of your music. How about just observing without describing in your head? See the immense difference it does to you!
Number 4: Be On Stage!
I dont mean just appear on stage and perform; I mean really be on stage! Use your power of your mind and see yourself on stage, not in the audience. Remember, you are giving to the audience, not receiving. Get into that mode. You have the chance to show your beloved talent to so many people make the most of the opportunity! Remember, you are in the music and in the moment. Dont let any of the above stop that. You cannot be the performer and listener at the same time. Let the audience develop their thoughts for themselves.
Number 5: Enjoy!
Each performance you have is valuable as it will further the promotion of your music or your instrument around the world. So many people will hear about the wonders you have created so remember, performance anxiety is easy to be rid of. Ive done it, and so have thousands more musicians. Now we all enjoy performing anywhere we go. Do the same, and enjoy your performance. Let the adrenaline and your genuine lively passion for the music come through.
I suggest you look through and work through these top 5 ways of demolishing performance anxiety before each performance so you get maximum benefit.
Check out much more detail about overcoming performance anxiety in the low cost personal and professional development for musicians course called Express Yourself. It covers ten parts with five main pillars of confidence building, taming performance anxiety, concentration mastery, building audience rapport and effective communication to getting regular performances.
© Kavit Haria, The Musicians Coach