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A Musicians Guide to Overcoming Stage Fright

Updated: Sep 14, 2023

Performing on stage can be both exhilarating and nerve-wracking for many musicians, both those who are experienced and new to the experience. Performance anxiety, or what is often referred to as stage fright, is a very common challenge faced by many. Learning how to overcome performance anxiety is a very important and crucial skill to learn to help enhance stage presence and overall musical experience. Today we’ll be sharing some ways to help combat stage fright so that you can thrive during your next performance!

  • Preparation is Key

- As straightforward as it sounds, preparation truly is key. One of the most

effective ways to lessen performance anxiety is to prepare your music and have

a thorough understanding of your materials. Not only does this help with

confidence, but it can help minimize the fear of making mistakes. Having

focused and purposeful practices to help prepare for performance make a

huge difference. The more confident you are in your abilities, the less room for

anxiety to take hold.

  • Practice Space

- Have you ever tried to replicate the performance space you’ll be in?

Replication of the space will help desensitize you to the pressure or fear you

feel on stage. Don’t feel like you have to have an exact clone of the space, but

familiarize yourself with the size of the stage by marking it out with tape, or

invite friends and family to act as a mock audience to help you prepare for the

real deal. These are just two examples, but doing simple things like this can

help you get accustomed to the nerves or adrenaline rush you may experience.

  • Relax & Take a Deep Breath

- Relaxation exercises such as deep breathing or meditation can aid in calming

your nerves before a performance. Taking slow, deep breaths is proven to help

reduce physical tension and lower your heart rate. Slowly inhale through your

nose and slowly exhale the air from your mouth. Try this to center your mind

and your body.

  • Positive Visualization

- Picture yourself performing on stage. Do you hear the applause? Do you see

the satisfaction of a great performance? Picture all the things you did right in

your performance, the flawless execution. Having a positive mindset can help

anticipate a great performance rather than stress out over a less-than perfect

one.

  • Supportive Self-Talk

- To go along with positive visualization, we need to also speak positively about

ourselves and give positive affirmations. Instead of telling yourself “You’re going

to mess up”, say “I am more than capable of doing a great job.” Challenge

yourself to speak with confidence and positivity rather than negative and

harmful inner dialogue.

  • Professional Guidance

- If you feel like you need someone to support you and help you get out of your

head, consider a performance coach or a therapist who specializes in stage

fright and performance anxiety. Not only can they provide you with multiple

strategies to overcome the fear, but they can also personalize techniques for

you as a performer.


These are only a few of the ways to help overcome stage fright, but at the end of the day they are all techniques to help you along on your musical journey. Overcoming anything is a gradual process, so remind yourself that you are working hard and that you can do it! By nurturing a positive and patient mindset, you will find yourself embracing the stage and having newfound confidence.



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