How To Defeat Stage Fright – Music Lessons In Your Home

You stepped on stage.  Lights are blaring in your face with hot Sahara like heat.  Peoples’ faces are blank as fresh canvas waiting for you to paint emotion on them with the joy of your performance.  Each second that passes feels like hours, and your mind is blank with how to fill such time, when your throat is a drought, and your fingers have turned to al dente pasta.
If you’ve ever experienced this, then you may have a healthy, or unhealthy, case of stage fright.  These moments happen to most performers at some time in their life.  It may not happen in a regular performance, but if you have a college education on the line or winning that $500 prize for that talent show, it’s very possible.

Beat The Fright Monster With Your Lungs

So, how do we defeat this stage fright monster?

1. You have to take deep breaths and fill up your belly with air.  Remember the lungs always fill up more down than “out”, or from your chest.  If you’ve ever heard of the diaphragm, now is the time to use it.  The diaphragm is a muscle and can move.  The ribs are bones and some cartilage.  The rib cage can only move so much.  However, the diaphragm can definitely beat the ribs in a battle on who can help you take in the most air. Breathing is going to help get your body and your brain back under your control.

Use Distractions To Your Advantage

2.  Practice visualizing being in empty space when there’s a lot going on around you.  Turn on the TV, or do something that would distract you, but close your eyes and practice blocking it out.  Performing is all about your mind.  If you can control your mind, then you can control your fright.  However, you have to be able to control your mind when it’s in a stressful situation.  Practicing to focus on one thing when sometime else is going on will help you when you’re in a time of need, like being on that stage when people are staring at you and wanting you to entertain them.  This will prepare your mind to be elsewhere and remove you mentally from situations.

Pick A Spot In The Back Of The Room

3.  The last good tactic is to focus on the back of the room if you’re singing or if you’re playing an instrument, pick a point in the room where there’s no face staring back at you.  This technique is removing your brain from the fact that you’re being stared at by others and lets you focus on the task at hand, being the wonderful musician that you have practiced so hard to be.  This is basically a tactic that helps you do what number one is telling you to do.  This can be changed just a little by the age old mental trick of imagining everyone in the audience in their pajamas.  If you are not the only person in the room who has a reason to be embarrassed, it can make you feel a little better.
Remember that the way you practice is the way you perform.  So, make sure that you have run through your performance piece several times, and kept going when you messed up.  Many times, if you keep going, people don’t know that you messed up, so crisis averted.  Every person who performs today has had good performances and bad performances; the most important thing is always enjoy your performances.  Even when it’s not your best, if you have a great time on stage, people will enjoy your good time.  Think about a time when someone laughed and you had no idea why they were laughing, but you began to laugh because they were laughing.  Performing on stage is no different.  People want to have a good time, and your happiness and fun can fill them up with joy too.  So, share your joy, have a fantastic time and go make someone happy.
As always, keep practicing.

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