Every year, my piano teacher hosted two piano recitals. Even though I practiced and practiced, I could not overcome the stage fright until my senior year of high school.
So, here are 5 tips to help you execute a successful performance.
1) Practice Performing
There isn’t a better way to become comfortable performing then by doing it. My mother would have each of us kids perform one or two pieces for anyone who walked through our door – even the guy who repaired our appliances. Find opportunities to share your music. Be courageous!
2) Practice Acting
Stage freight starts in the mind. Pretend you are an actor or actress. Imagine that you are someone else on stage. It may sound strange, but it psychologically helped me to overcome my fear of feeling vulnerable.
3) Practice Imagining
Walk through the entire performance (even in the clothes you would wear). Sit in a chair near the piano. Imagine that there are people and other performers surrounding you. Walk to the piano, and adjust the bench to a good distance. Take a deep breath and perform for your “audience”. Remember to bow at the end of your performance!
4) Practice Ghosting
Have you ever tried to play your piano piece on a hard surface while singing it in your mind? One of my teachers called it “ghosting”, like you are moving your fingers without hearing the actual sound. If you have a memory glitch without even playing the piece on the piano, then you most likely will have it when actually play the instrument. Review that passage and practice ghosting again.
5) Practice Breathing
Yes, it may sound like a blonde joke, but it’s true. You need to make sure that you are breathing when you play. Take deep breaths during the challenging passages. Oxygen to the brain can only be a good thing when you are under pressure.
No matter what happens, remember to make colorful music!