5 top tips on beating performance anxiety


08 June 2021
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Even the pros get it, so don’t let it get the best of you. Whether you're about to give a debut at a top recital venue, or just want to perform for friends and family, we think these tips will be of some help...

1. Practise performing 

Invite your partner or a few friends to listen to you. Make an event of it, removing yourself from the room and, once your audience is settled, enter and play. Ensure the atmosphere is friendly but respectful.

 

 

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2. Sing the music when you practise 

It’s a great way to immerse yourself in the music while vocalising phrases can help give them shape and fluency. Your oxygen levels will rise as you breathe more deeply, and you’ll feel more confident and outgoing. In time, playing the piano will feel less like something you do in private.

 

 

3. Fight negativity 

Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels

Don’t indulge those negative thoughts. They will drag you down and encourage failure. Instead, shut them out and admit only positive thoughts to enter your music zone.

 

 

4. Enjoy it

Playing the piano is fun and very special. Not everyone can do it – but you can. Treat your performance as an opportunity to share your gift and your music with others. They’re not interested in finding faults; they want to be moved and inspired.

 

 

5. One last thing – love your nerves! 

It’s your body’s way of telling you that you’re ready to play. So go out there and sock it to ’em!

 

 

Further learning

Watch this piano lesson below from regular Pianist contributor Graham Fitch, where he talks about avoiding tension in some of the hard moments in your playing. That will surely help with anxious moments! Graham has made over 50 exclusive piano lessons for Pianist, filmed at Steinway Hall, London, all available on the Pianist TV Channel.