Thursday, May 30, 2019 by Zachary Kidder | Events
We are one week away from our Spring Recital!
Recitals are fun and exciting, but can also seem stressful. The pressure turns up to 11 for some people when they think about performing in front of an eager crowd.
Here are some tips for entering the performance phase of your musicianship.
1. Know how you sound and how you want to sound
Record yourself when you can. You can do this with small personal recording devices like a Zoom or a free recording software like audacity, but a smartphone is usually the most practical option.
Practicing in a large space whenever possible is also a good idea. The demands of projecting in a concert hall are different than a practice room.
2. Don't try to be better on stage than you are at home
We are all here to support your progress in music. If you don't sound as good as you want to sound, no biggie. Keep your head up, celebrate where you are, and recognize that you're better now than you were 6 months ago. It's all part of the process.
3. Downplay The Importance of Performing
Nerves will get you down if you let them. It's hard to play with shaky hands and a nervous voice. Performing definitely can definitely be nerve wracking (and even disappointing) if you've invested your hopes and dreams in the few moments you'll be on stage. It's best to frame the idea of performing as a practical extension of your journey as a musician and enjoy those few spotlight moments.
4. Address the physical cause and effect of nerves before you hit the stage
What happens to your body when you get nervous and how can you prevent it? We get tense, short of breath, maybe a little shaky, or anxious. Trying to take a deep breath when you're already shaking in your boots doesn't do much good. The trick to getting anti-anxiety breathing exercises to work for you onstage is to incorporate them into daily practice. If you’re used to breathing while you play every day in the practice room, you can do it in performance too!
5. Be kind to yourself and silence the negative self chatter
Artists can be a little self defeating in this way. We tend to attach a lot of negativity to what others might think of our performances, but frankly, nobody shows up to the performance to have their minds blown. People show up to performances because they want to see somebody really enjoying something they love and that's exactly what you are doing. These performances aren't about how good you are or how much people should love your performance. They're about giving something you love to an audience you love. Make a habit of thanking of your imaginary audience with gratitude so that you will feel this emotion as you walk out on the stage.