Belinda June 4, 2021

How to Overcome Performance Anxiety

Performance Anxiety is Common 

All musicians experience performance anxiety at some point in their career. It is common to feel anxious before or during a performance. 

In today’s blog, we discuss a few techniques to help you get centred when experiencing performance anxiety.  

1. Practice, Practice, Practice 

The first step to overcome performance anxiety is to practice. Feel confident that you are fully prepared for your performance. You practiced your pieces and you know the tricky movements. You’re ready to take the stage and give your best performance. 

2. Recognize the Symptoms of Performance Anxiety 

There are physical and psychological symptoms associated with performance anxiety. 

You might feel “butterflies in your stomach,” shallow, rapid breathing, or tense muscles. Or you might experience racing thoughts, or an inability to focus and concentrate. 

Consider learning mindfulness techniques. Mindfulness is the ability to know what you are thinking or feeling at any given moment. Learn to scan your body and identify when you’re feeling confident and relaxed or when you’re anxious.

Ask yourself, “What am I thinking at this moment?” “How am I feeling right now?” and put your emotions into words. By practicing mindfulness techniques, you will be more focused and centred. You can use these techniques anytime you are anxious. 

3. Stop and Take a Breath 

Deep, slow, rhythmic breathing is the easiest way to overcome performance anxiety. Before every performance, or anytime you’re feeling rushed and out of control, take a few moments to breathe. Inhale through your nose, and exhale through your mouth. When exhaling, try to push your belly button towards your spine. This empties your lungs and helps you take a full breath. 

Deep breathing slows your heart rate, increases your blood oxygen levels, and relaxes your muscles. This also relaxes your mental state. 

Consider making deep breathing part of every practice and pre-performance ritual. 

It Is This Simple 

These techniques can help you relieve your performance anxiety. If they are not working, or you’re experiencing severe symptoms, consider speaking to your doctor or health care professional. 


Remember these tips the next time you’re feeling anxious before or during a performance:

  • Practice. Master your pieces to the best of your ability
  • Tell yourself you are fully prepared for your performance 
  • Learn to recognize the symptoms and feelings of anxiety
  • Practice deep breathing to relax mentally and physically

Contact Brady Arts Academy today to discuss your musical education. Our dedicated instructors can help you perfect your musical abilities. 

Written by: Nicole Holas

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