Musical performance anxiety is a type of social anxiety specific to musicians. Musicians who suffer with musical performance anxiety may worry weeks or months before a performance and may perform below their abilities because of anxiety. Anxiety about performing as a musician can be distressing for those who experience this type of performance anxiety.
What can you do to cope with anxiety about musical performances? Below are a few quick tips to help you through that next big solo:
- realize that everyone is a little bit nervous when performing; a little bit of nervousness gives energy to your performance
- don't dwell on minor errors or mistakes; the audience probably won't even notice small slips if you keep going
- visualize the performance in advance and see yourself succeeding
- practice relaxation techniques during practice and when performing
If coping strategies are not helping you overcome musical performance anxiety, it may be time to seek professional help. Medications such as beta blockers can be helpful for performers who are unable to manage stage fright. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms and the best course of action can be determined between the two of you.
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