Getting Over Stage Fright

For many there is no place more comfortable than the bright lights of the stage and nothing more rewarding than treading the boards in front of an audience. However, for others, the idea of stepping up in front of a crowd strikes up a deep sense of fear in the form of stage fright.

Unfortunately for those who do suffer from stage fright, it is not always possible to avoid getting up in front of people. Especially for musicians, whose livelihood relies on public performances, there will come a time where they are required to get up on stage. With this looming on the horizon, some may find themselves spiralling into an uncontrollable panic. In such moments, any carefully rehearsed movements come to a stuttering halt as sweating, shaking and a blank mind overtake any sensibilities.

Especially in the case of instrumentalists, as any musician will know, a calm approach and steady hand is vital. A performance that relies on physical control, any nervous tremors can prove detrimental. Fortunately, there are some tips that can be followed to lessen the panic, even help people get over stage fright altogether!

Firstly, positive thinking is key. Don`t let the little negative thoughts at the back of your mind get to you; focus instead on how great your performance can be. Additionally, by focusing on the people who will always support you and on the most empowering experiences that you`ve had to date, your confidence will be inflated immediately.

Further gain confidence by knowing the piece you are playing inside out; your self-belief will be infinitely boosted by being 100% sure of what you are performing.

Not only does practice make perfect, it also makes it easier for you to envision how your performance will go. Practice playing in front of people, props or even mirrors so that the idea of people watching you becomes more normal and therefore easier to do on the day. The more you do it, the easier it will become to get up and play in front of people.

Another tip is to concentrate on your music rather than on the audience. Focusing on the people will only distract you and make that panic well up. Don`t think of their reactions or their judgements, only of performing your piece to your standards.

With stage fright, you are first and foremost a bundle of nerves. Try and channel your nervous energy into your performance and use it to energise your performance rather than letting it overwhelm you. Alternately, try and keep as calm as possible by focusing on your breathing. Slow and steady breaths will calm you down and help you to think straight, not to mention help you to keep shaking hands under control.

At the end of the day, you are your own harshest critic and it is up to you to silence your fears. Fortunately, by following these few basic tips, overcoming stage fright can seem much more feasible! Once this is done, you can take on anything, from performing for small audiences to even a place on stage in a London theatre!

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