Stage fright is a very common problem amongst performing musicians. In one recent survey, up to 90% of the orchestra musicians questioned admitted to anxiety before performances.
Where Does It Come?
Stage fright is most commonly the product of two things:
Social anxiety –Some people just don’t like to perform in front of others. This can manifest as a fear of public speaking, emotional jitters, or physical symptoms like dry mouth, hands sweat, or become icy cold, shaking hands, an inability to make eye contact, overwhelming sense of tiredness, shortness of breath, and even vomiting.
Lack of preparation – Some performers lack sufficient self-confidence because they haven’t adequately prepared. The more comfortable you feel with your playing, the more confident you will feel.
Overcome Stage Fright
Practice – Practice your performance at home in front of a mirror. Think of things that might go wrong, and practice working out solutions to those situations. Ensure you are well prepared for your performance.
Boost self-confidence – This way, even if you run into a truly tricky situation, you’ll have the confidence and self-esteem that comes with knowing that you’ve already gone through every possible scenario and you’re ready for anything that comes your way.
Familiar with the feeling – Practice being nervous. Find as many opportunities as you can to perform and make yourself nervous so you can get familiar with the feeling. The more experience you have of performing, the more you find ways to channel the energy and learn to move through it.
Notice your breathing. When you are playing sitting down, the breath sometimes gets trapped in the chest. Try to exhale fully and quickly, blowing out the tension remember that how many famous performers go on stage feeling the same self-doubt you’re feeling right now—and yet, they still crush it. That means you also can also do it!