You practised diligently, saw real progress, spent hours, weeks, or months getting ready to show the world what you have to offer with all your hard work. Then, during a lesson, exam or stage performance, under the eyes of your teacher, small or big audience, your focus dissolves, your heart races, hands shakes, and you play as if you haven’t touched your instrument in weeks.
Performance anxiety is one of the most common issues faced by aspiring musicians and even seasoned professionals. Feeling nervous before a lesson or concert is natural but when worry and stress get to be too much, “stress hormones” give people that “red alert” feeling, leaving you to feel cold or sweaty and like you can’t think straight. Some individuals tend to embrace the pressure that comes with it, while other students might need a helping hand. Whatever the reason you are worried about, these five tips can help you to settle your fears so that you can concentrate on what is most important and show everyone exactly what you can do.
Whether you are taking an exam, having your first music lesson or concert, you are here for a reason and earned the right to be here. Try to look at what you have already accomplished and ask yourself why are you doing this, what do you want to achieve, and what is the worst that can happen?
Remember that all things worth working towards and the more you perform, the more you will get comfortable doing so and move forward to achieve your dreams.
While you shouldn’t focus on eradicating stress, you can try to practise calm acceptance. Breathing exercise is an easy and effective way to learn how to channel anxiety and stress in a more useful way. A few long, slow breaths help to soothe a jangled nervous system, counteract the fight-flight response and tell your body it is safe.
Also, as nerves and anxiety usually cause your hands to tremble, which prevent you from playing correctly on an instrument, the breathing exercise reduces your worry allowing your hands to settle and focus on performance.
Given the many variables of performing, it can be helpful to leave a few moments to settle in and try out your playing before the important event. Start with private warm-ups and finger exercises, and sort out page turns, outfit, shoes, etc.
Stretching and breathing not only help to tune in the right mood, but also reduce anxiety and bring the player more controlled awareness of its movement once at an instrument. Furthermore, technical exercises at an instrument rely on muscle memory, allowing for some time for a person to adjust his or her focus before launching into more musically demanding territory. They are also great for adapting to a different instrument, its touch, dynamic and tonal range.
Try to see and feel the exam, lesson, or concert as being a positive, fun experience and stick to this idea until it is a more dominant feeling than negative thoughts. Imagine your composed entrance, comfortable position at an instrument, complete concentration and absorption in the music, your possible audience and a perfect finish.
The strong likelihood is that you will experience what you have visualised, so making sure it’s optimistic will be way more enjoyable. It can be done in advance of your performance or as at the time when you are waiting.
The intake of CBD oil can help to relieve anxiety and stress, improve mood, focus, and energy – all critical factors when you are performing. CBD benefits also include regulation of sleep quality, decreased headaches, and aid to feel calm and settled, which can help to feel rested, concentrated, relaxed and fully prepared for the big day.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a natural and non-addictive compound that is extracted from Cannabis Sativa plants and won’t cause changes in a state of mind. CBD is known to interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system that affects your mood, immune response, heart, skin, brain, etc. Support of the vital system means CBD products can maintain the proper function of main processes occurring in an organism to promote better health and general wellbeing.
If you have followed the tips above, there is only one thing left for you to do: RELAX. Overworking and stressing will do you more harm than good. Try avoiding late-night sessions and practise smartly, as it will cause you to burn out more and face fatigue and lack of energy for the next day. Start early as an incentive to finish early so you can rest during the evening and get a good night’s sleep.
Don’t worry; it is normal to feel worried right before exams, concerts, and shows. Try to look at the situation positively – be confident in yourself and the hard work you have done and know that it will pay off!