How to Overcome Performance Anxiety

Posted by Yoke Wong on 3/5/2011 to Learn To Play Piano

Performance anxiety is a real thing - it is a huge obstacle to many pianists. It also varies with personality. An outgoing person that likes human interaction seems to be less affected by it. An introvert or someone who is less interested in personal interaction are more susceptible to it.

If you can expose yourself to public performance earlier on in your life, chance are, you can adapt to it easier. There are many ways you can improve on your performance anxiety.

a. Give yourself opportunity to perform in public - Start in smaller venue. You can start by performing for a few friends. Local senior center is also a great place to perform as you get to play in front of people who are supportive.

b. Breathing techniques - Deep breathing technique helps. Do you know deep cleansing breathing can help relieve stress? Breathing technique is common used in labor room. Once you take deep breath you tend to forget about what you are focusing on.

c. Know your music - This may seem like a no brain er. Many performers may not know their music as well as they thought. Are you able to pick up any measure without starting from the beginning? A good way to practice and memorize music is by breaking pieces into many smaller sections. If you can start the music anywhere on the piece, your chances of forgetting (the music) are much slimmer.

d. Take it less seriously - Don't think it is a big deal to mess up the performance (really)! Just have fun and enjoy the process. If you have the correct mentality and attitude, you will less likely be overly anxious and nervous.



Date: 3/21/2011 10:19:16 AM
Very helpful article. Thanks for sharing the information
Melody Railey
Date: 3/21/2011 8:35:43 PM
We are in agreement on this subject. Thank you for taking the time to post these helpful information. I know it will help your students.
Melody Railey
Date: 3/21/2011 8:36:01 PM
We are in agreement on this subject. Thank you for taking the time to post these helpful information. I know it will help your students.
Date: 3/22/2011 6:18:15 PM
Good advice! Part D is the hardest to conquer. How do you tell yourself it is not a big deal? I am never as relaxed playing for others as I am playing at home for myself.
Robert Young
Date: 3/30/2011 4:57:22 AM
In response to your blog on performance anxiety I am a person who suffers this greatly. I go to pieces and can not or think and become completely lost in what I am trying to. I practice faithfully and think I have it,but when I go for my lesson I fall apart.
Patti Nippert
Date: 4/10/2012 7:04:45 AM
Performance anxiety plagues me. I practice and practice. I have been playing in church (a very small, loving church) for years, and I still get extremely nervous and anxious. I don't sleep well the night before, and then when I am playing my hands shake and my fingers get stiff. I have a love-hate feeling toward performance. Any more suggestions. I do practice the pieces ahead of time until they are almost perfect. Thanks, Patti

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