How to Overcome Performance Anxiety

Monica Rouvellas

Performance anxiety can be a major obstacle for music students. This article can offer tips and strategies for managing nerves and performing with confidence.


1. Understand That Performance Anxiety Is Normal: Being nervous before performing is natural and completely normal, so don’t beat yourself up for feeling anxious. It can help to know that everyone experiences some form of performance anxiety and it doesn’t have to stop you from achieving your goals.


2. Prepare Ahead Of Time: When you plan and rehearse ahead of time, you can reduce performance anxiety by feeling more prepared. Make sure that your practice sessions are focused and effective so that you don’t feel rushed or overwhelmed by the material.


3. Focus On What You Can Control: Instead of worrying about things outside of your control during a performance, focus on what you can control. This might mean focusing on your breathing, posture, or technique to keep yourself grounded and in the present moment.


4. Don’t Let Negative Thoughts Get The Best Of You: Performance anxiety can cause negative thoughts to come up during practice and performances. Remind yourself that these thoughts are not helpful and don’t let them take over. Instead, focus on positive affirmations that encourage you to do your best.


5. Use Visualization Techniques: It can be helpful to use visualization techniques before a performance to help you get into the right mindset. Imagine yourself walking confidently onto the stage, playing with poise and ease, and receiving applause after a great performance.


6. Talk To Your Teacher/Mentor: If you’re still struggling with performance anxiety, talk to your teacher or mentor about it. They likely have experience in dealing with nerves and can offer valuable advice on how to overcome this obstacle.


7. Seek Professional Help: If your performance anxiety is severe and impacting your daily life, consider seeking professional help. A therapist, psychologist, or counselor can provide guidance and support that can help you manage your nerves and gain confidence in performances.


By understanding that performance anxiety is normal, preparing ahead of time, focusing on what you can control, and talking to your teacher or mentor for advice, you can take back control and perform with confidence. Use these tips to help you overcome the obstacles of performance anxiety.



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