It is the evening of your piano recital. Even before going on stage you are beginning to suffer the affects of anxiety. Your stomach is fluttering and you are now feeling nauseous. Your heart rate and pulse is up and this is going to affect the speed in which you play your music.
You may have practiced your piece for months ahead and the day before you found that it was perfect. Now, you can’t remember how it begins or if you can read the music.
These symptoms are known as stage fright. Stage fright may not be overcome but stage fright is manageable. Memorization of your music is very important. The more complicated the piece the more prepared you will need to practice through memorization.
Practice all the time in front of an audience. Use your family and friends and when a mistake occurs own your nervousness.
Another tip is to record your playing. Do this either through a camera or a recording device. Hear what your piece will sound like as you play and compare it to how it is suppose to sound like. Make note of the areas that should be slower, faster or stronger. During your future recordings make the adjustments.
Mental imagery or visualization is a healthy tool. Visualization has been shown to be a valuable method in focusing yourself and improving your performance. Visualization our performance will increase your flight or fight instinct. It will raise your blood pressure and your pulse will get rapid. You will experience everything as if you were actually doing it. Eventually you will adjust your neural pathways to performing the task. The constant imagery of performing will bring about your success.
Practicing your pieces(s) in slow motion will identify what you are doing incorrectly. In some cases it is recommended this to be done the day before. Others recommend throughout your preparation period and especially the day before. On performance day, play at least twice in slow motion but do not change your performance piece(s) at all.
Keep healthy during your performance preparation. Eat well including pasta and get plenty of rest. Visualize before each nights sleep.
Just prior to the performance take a walk around the block and get some oxygen and release some of that adrenaline.
There are few other steps that you can take that will help you to fight the anxiety of performance.
- Learn how to play the piece correctly
- Work on how to control the adrenaline in your body
- Work on confidence building techniques
- Rather than being a tentative player afraid of mistakes. Learn your piece playing courageously.
- Stay in the moment. Learn to focus and to ignore distractions.
- If you should make a mistake, recover quickly. Be resilient.
- Focus on the fact that performing this piece(s) is your goal. Therefore playing them correctly is the primary goal. Be relentless and go after it.
- Enroll in piano lessons with a certified instructor
Learn to master your skill. Reread the above information and try remembering it as well as your performance. Expect the best from yourself and entertain your audience.