Updated: Jul 5
Nearly everyone has been there. In the lead up to a performance, you start to feel anxious. You start to worry and fret about the audience. You start to think about all the things that could go wrong. This causes you to worry about going on stage and you may end up overwhelmed by stage fright.
The good news is there are things you can do to get over these feelings.
It Happens to Almost Everyone
One thing to remember if you’re feeling anxious or nervous before a musical performance or other public event is that almost everyone feels this way sometimes. Different people react to these feelings differently, so you may not see everyone else responding the same way that you do but feeling nervous before performing in front of a group can make most people feel at least a bit uneasy.
Sometimes knowing that these feelings are natural and common can make you feel better about your own situation.
One of the most common answers to the question “how to not be nervous for a performance?” is to practice. One of the reasons we get nervous before going on stage is that we’re worried we’ll do something wrong. We start to feel anxious about the likelihood of making a mistake and we start to envision how that will feel and how everyone watching us will react.
One way to counteract these feelings and to calm your mind is to practice. If you practice regularly and you know in your mind that you can perform your piece without making a mistake, this will ease your anxiety. This increased confidence will give you the peace of mind you need to go out and do your best.
Are you absolutely guaranteed to play perfectly if you practice? No. No one is perfect and mistakes can happen. However, the more you practice, the better you’ll feel about your chances and the less worried you’ll be about something going wrong. This will help alleviate your stage fright.
Stage fright is often a form of anxiety or worry. Your brain starts thinking about everything that could go wrong and every way that you could feel embarrassed or uncomfortable. When this happens, one way to calm yourself is through meditation.
Sitting in a calm and relaxing space, take a few deep breaths and try to relax. Notice your body. Think about how your legs and arms feel. Focus on your breathing and feel the sensation as your breath goes in and out. If your mind starts to wander, try to direct it back to your breath. Don’t judge yourself or get concerned if you notice your mind racing with thoughts. Try to think about your breath or any other sensations around you.
This can help calm your mind and stop it from racing from negative scenario to negative scenario.
Letting Go of “Perfect”
One of the reasons people get stage fright is because they worry that they’ll make a mistake or do something wrong and that their performance won’t be perfect. Those are totally normal thoughts. Of course, when you go out in front of people and perform, you want to do your best. However, try to let go of the thought that everything needs to be perfect. You’re a human and you make mistakes just like every other human. If you’re on stage and something doesn’t go right, that’s okay. It’s not the first time and it won’t be the last time. As long as you do your best, you should feel proud of yourself.
Thinking in this manner should help you feel less anxious and worried about your performance. And then, ironically, you’ll probably be less likely to make a mistake! Sometimes when people are nervous, they’re more likely to get something wrong. If you’re calm, you can perform at ease.
The team at Allegro Music School can help you practice music and overcome feelings of stage fright, giving you the confidence you need to perform. Call us today at 613-837-6040 or contact us online to find out more.