How to conquer performance anxiety

What every artist wants is to give a first-rate performance while shining with confidence and then receive electrifying applause! Continue reading for strategies that musicians can activate to conquer performance anxiety.

Strategies to crush performance anxiety

Noa Kageyama, Ph.D., a performance psychologist, Juilliard alumnus and faculty member, defined performance anxiety as 'a negative emotional state with feelings of nervousness, worry, and apprehension associated with activation or arousal of the body.' Dr. Kageyama stated in his BulletProof Musician blog that there are three parts of anxiety: physical effects, mental effects and emotional effects.

Dr. Kageyama continued to state that the components of performance anxiety are: somatic anxiety, cognitive anxiety and affective anxiety. Two types of anxiety are state anxiety and trait anxiety. In the blog, he went into detail regarding these components and types. Plus, he explained how they relate to the musician and how obstacles can be overcome. 

In What Is Performance Anxiety, Really? Dr. Kageyama concluded with a three-pronged strategy. He advocated that instead of giving attention to being nervous about the performance, concentrate on 'developing a more effective response to the inevitable nerves'. Rather than spending all preparation time practicing 'practicing', spend time practicing 'performing'. One example he gave was while going for a run, once the artist is partly out-of-breath toward the end of the run, ask the question 'Can I still nail the opening?' To read more of his details and approaches to overcome performance anxiety, click here

A toolkit to defeat performance anxiety

Play: A psychological toolkit for optimal music performance is a hands-on guide that assists in managing performance anxiety. This 52-page toolkit gives constructive and pragmatic strategies for overcoming the barriers caused by anxiety. Play: A psychological toolkit for optimal music performance was written by Gregory Daubney, CPsychol, MSc and Dr. Alison Daubney, Ph.D.

These professionals have found that reducing and managing the fear of performing can assist musicians in optimizing their full potential during performances. Play: A psychological toolkit for optimal music performance is available in eBook and printed book. 

Be stage light ready

With the above steps and strategies for overcoming stage fright, musicians can eliminate the tentativeness, doubt and lack of courage that performance anxiety can produce. Instead, the artist will give a first-rate performance and shine with confidence and thunderous applause!