What a beautiful recital! Thank you again to all the students and families that came out to make an afternoon of wonderful music.
Now, just because the recital is done doesn't mean that we can't be working on our performance preparation. The time between performances is ideal for working through feelings of stage fright.
One thing I always suggest if you or your child are struggling with performance anxiety is to practice, practice, practice! I don't just mean practice your music, but I also mean practice performing. As often as possible, put on mini concerts in your home, or at a friend's home, and play for whomever will listen. Performance practice which includes taking bows, and playing a piece start to finish, uninterrupted, makes the act of playing for people a normal thing.
Another helpful exercise to bring into this practice is to ask yourself "why" you're playing a piece of music. Maybe the answer is "because I want to make the world a more beautiful place." Perhaps it's more specific to each piece, such as you're performing Liszt's Liebestraume because you're in love and want your audience to feel as you do. Whatever route you take, whether global or piece specific, find a "why" that works for you and gives your performance direction. We'll discuss more about this in Part 3.
The thing about performance anxiety is that it's essentially a universally shared experience, whether it happens while playing piano, guitar, singing, or even just talking in front of an audience. It can impact performance in a job interview, giving a presentation, or on the dance floor.
Because so many amazing performers have struggled with it, there are a whole host of great tips and tricks out there to help move beyond this challenge, so that it's no longer fear that pushes us forward through the music, but rather its inverse emotion, excitement.
Do you have a strategy for combating stage fright that you'd like to share? Drop us a line - we'd love to hear your ideas.
Until next time, happy practicing!