Not all musicians enjoy the “rush” of performing. Shaky hands, clumsy feet, and a rapid heart rate can jeopardize confidence and performance. But remember that anxiety is normal, and it’s better to accept it rather than fight it. Let your body ease through the feelings so that they don’t sneak up on you – try the following techniques to calm your nerves before a performance:
BreatheAs soon as you start to feel anxious, concentrate only on breathing slowly for one minute (but not so slow that you become dizzy). Breathing helps alleviate exterior signs of anxiety, and forces you to focus on one thing at a time so you don’t end up overwhelmed by your thoughts.
Stay Comfortably HydratedRefresh yourself with a few sips of water, fruit juice, or decaffeinated tea. A dry throat can be an uncomfortable distraction (but so can a full bladder).*
Stretch Hands & BodyA quick stretch will loosen tense muscles and stimulate blood flow, improving agility and focus. Concentrate on your arms, chest, hands, ankles, and neck.
Channel Nervousness Into Motivation
Try to focus on excitement rather than nervousness, and keep a positive attitude about your talents. After a while, you might find that nervousness can be both pleasant and energizing. However, if your anxiety is severe, you might benefit from regular meditation.
* Learn the Best Pre-Recital Foods & Drinks
► More On Stage Fright:
○ Understanding the Cause & Effect of Stage Nerves
○ Overcoming Mistakes During a Performance