Many musicians begin playing because of a love for the art itself. When it’s just a musician and an instrument, performing can be a euphoric experience. But stepping on a stage with an audience of any size can alter the musician-instrument bond, leaving musicians terrified and unsure of themselves.
For a musician who is new to the experience of performing, there are a few expert tips that can help them learn to enjoy the experience. While these tips may not completely allay the stage fright that is natural for anyone, a musician can learn to perform despite any fears.
Everyone is Scared
While professional performers may make standing on a stage look like it’s second nature, the truth is that everyone gets stage fright. Even some of the most accomplished performers of our time have admitted to grappling with it, especially at first. Recognizing this is the first step to learning to overcome it.
Over time, musicians realize that nerves are a part of any public performance. They learn to work with those nerves and make increasingly less mistakes. Often, performers find they make mistakes the average audience member never realizes and, even when they do make a noticeable mistake, audiences are surprisingly forgiving. By learning to make mistakes and keep moving forward anyway, musicians can strengthen their performing skills.
It’s All About the Music
One of the best ways to overcome performance anxiety is to focus on the music. When a performer centers all focus on the music, that passion shows through, pulling the audience in. Even the biggest mistakes are forgivable if a musician plays passionately. By closing his eyes and concentrating solely on the music, a musician can overcome a bad case of nerves.
The first step in playing passionately is choosing a piece that inspires passion in the musician. The long hours spent practicing will be much easier when a musician believes in the music he’s playing. It’s especially helpful to choose music that has special meaning. This meaning will be communicated to the audience as the musician plays.
Be a Standout
By now, most audiences have heard it all. But even a classic piece that’s been played a million or more times can be made unique. It’s all about the musician’s interpretation. Choose a piece that speaks to you and set out to find ways to make it your own.
Most importantly, have fun. Whether you’re practicing alone at home or playing in front of a packed concert hall, the real relationship is between the musician and the music. Once a musician can relax and enjoy the process of performing, the experience will be better for both the artist and the audience. But true confidence in performing comes from years of experience, which only comes from forcing through stage fright time and again until finally, performing on stage feels natural.
For more tips and resources from Midwest Musical Imports, visit the Tips and Resources category on our blog!