Performace Tips – Relieving Performance Anxiety

Our big end of  year studio recital is coming up quickly!  Students often get nervous before a performance, but in this blog post I will share some helpful tips to improve your performance and increase the joy you get from sharing your music.

Be Prepared

  1. Be diligent in practicing your piece, not just playing it.  Focus in on the trouble areas outlined by your teacher.  If there is a section you always stumble on, start with that section.  Practice starting and stopping at different points in the music – don’t always start at the beginning and play through straight to the end.  Toward the end of each practice session, play through the piece as if it is the performance – play all the way through without stopping, even play through any mistakes.  Make a note of any mistakes to start with next time you work on it.
  2. Play your pieces for anyone who will listen.  If you have friends or family over, ask if they will listen to you play. If you are visiting someone who has a piano, ask if you can play it. Practicing on different pianos with different audiences will help prepare you for anything that could happen at the recital.

Recital Day

  1. Arrive on time.  Performing can be stressful enough so don’t add extra stress by rushing in last minute.  Arrive early so you can find your seat, get comfortable with the venue, and relax before the performance.
  2.  Bring your music.  Ideally your piece will be memorized, but bring a copy of your music just in case.
  3. Before you go on stage, visualize your performance.  Professional athletes will often visualize their entire race just before the start, and visualizing your music performance can help as well.  It’s like practicing in your mind.  It helps your mind and body prepare for the performance, and reminds you that you know your piece and are able to play it well.  A few minutes before you go on stage, imagine yourself walking on stage confidently, performing your piece well, including all the difficult passages, and taking a bow at the end.
  4. When you walk on stage, be confident and give the audience a big smile.  Even if you are nervous, pretend that you are not – in this way performing involves a bit of acting.  Smiling helps you relax and remember that you are here to have fun and share a piece of music that you love!
  5. Don’t jump right in as soon as you step on stage.  Pause for a moment and take a deep breath and let it out slowly.  This will help you relax and focus.
  6. Remember to enjoy yourself.  You have worked hard and should enjoy the moment!  This is a wonderful opportunity to share your music with others.  The audience wants you to succeed.  If you make a mistake, keep right on playing as if you didn’t and the audience may not even notice.
  7. When you are finished your performance, don’t rush off the stage.  The audience will clap to show their appreciation and you should give them a big smile and bow or curtsey as a way of thanking the audience for listening.

Keep these tips in mind as you prepare for our upcoming recital, this will ensure you have a successful performance!

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