How to cope with Music Performance Anxiety now

Table of Contents

You’re at a gig, and you’re about to go on stage. You feel your heart racing, your palms sweating, and your knees shaking. You start to panic, and you can’t focus on the music. You start to doubt yourself, and you feel like you’re going to make a mistake. How can you get over this feeling and perform the way you want to?

What is performance anxiety

You may have had performance anxiety before, but you’re probably not aware what it is.

Performance anxiety comes under to umbrella of the many mental health anxiety disorders that people can suffer from. It is a type of social anxiety, which is an intense fear or discomfort of situations where you may be judged by others.

The main difference between performance anxiety and other types of anxiety disorders is that performance anxiety specifically relates to the fear of performing in front of an audience. This can be anything from playing an instrument in front of people, to giving a presentation at work, to even reading out loud in class.

For many people, the fear is so intense that it can start to interfere with their everyday life. They may start to avoid situations where they have to perform, or they may not be able to focus when they are actually doing it. This can have a negative impact on their work, school, and social life.

Performance anxiety is surprisingly common. A study in the United States found that around 5% of people suffer from this disorder.

Music performance anxiety

Causes of performance anxiety

There are many different factors that can contribute to performance anxiety. It may be caused by a specific event, such as a bad experience in the past. It may be due to social pressure or anxiety about what other people will think of you. It may also be caused by a general feeling of insecurity or low self-esteem.

Symptoms of performance anxiety

The symptoms of performance anxiety can vary from person to person. For some people, it may only be a mild feeling of unease. For others, it can be so severe that it interferes with their ability to perform. As a stress response you may experience some of the following symptoms:

Common psyical symptoms include:

– increased heart rate

– sweating

– shaking

– dizziness

– difficulty breathing

– nausea

– muscle tension

Common physiological symptoms include:

– racing thoughts

– mental confusion

– forgetfulness

– difficulty concentrating

– dry mouth

Common emotional symptoms include:

– fear

– anxious thoughts

– worry

– indecision

– self-doubt

– embarrassment

– shame

What is Music performance anxiety?

Music performance anxiety is a type of stage fright that can happen to anyone, from young musicians to professional musicians.

It’s the feeling of being nervous or anxious during a performance situation of when about to perform in front of an audience.

It can be caused by a variety of things, including worrying about making mistakes, not being good enough, or being judged by others.

There are many different kinds of performance anxiety, but they all have one thing in common: they can be debilitating and make it hard to perform the way you want to.

Types of performance anxiety you as a music artist might be familiar with are:

Social anxiety

Social anxiety is a social phobia which is the fear of being judged or evaluated by others. It can be very debilitating, making it difficult to do things like give presentations or perform in front of an audience.

Stage Fright Tai Andrews

Stage Fright

Stage fright is the fear of performing in front of an audience. It can be caused by a variety of things, including worries about not being able to do well, or being judged by others.

Perfectionism

Perfectionism is the belief that one must be perfect and give the most optimal performance in order to be accepted. This can lead to a fear of making mistakes, or not being good enough.

Performance-related anxiety

Performance related anxiety can be caused by any of these things, or a combination of them. It can make it very difficult to do well in musical performances, or even to enjoy playing music.

Musical performance anxiety can be a combination of all of the above, or just one of them. It can be very debilitating, making it hard to focus on the music and perform the way you want to.

I’ve been in music for many years. I was once an R&B DJ, playing in several different locations across several countries and was very good and competent.

All of my dJ sets were solo performances (which made it worse) in front of a live audience, I would get anxious, to the point where my heart would race, palms would sweat and i’d make silly mistakes that only I heard.

In the end I will be constantly complimented on my performance and get booked again and again. So even with my experience and the many hours of practice I still suffered from music performance anxiety.

It does not matter where you are in your musical career, you can still suffer from this disorder.

The good thing is that there are things you can do to manage your performance anxiety.

What is trait anxiety?

Trait anxiety is a personality trait that makes someone more prone to anxiety in general. If you have high trait anxiety, you’re more likely to experience anxiety in any situation, including performance situations.

Negative emotions

Negative emotions like fear and worry can contribute to performance anxiety. If you’re worried about making mistakes or being judged, it can be hard to focus on your performance.

Fear of negative evaluation

The fear of negative evaluation is the fear of being judged negatively by others. This can be a big contributor to performance anxiety, as you may worry that you’re not good enough

There are significant differences between trait anxiety and state anxiety. State anxiety is when you feel anxious in a specific situation, such as before a performance. Trait anxiety is when you tend to feel anxious in general, even when there isn’t a specific situation that’s causing it.

Trait anxiety can make you more likely to experience performance anxiety, but it’s important to remember that everyone experiences performance anxiety differently. Even if you have high trait anxiety, there are things you can do to manage your performance anxiety and perform the way you want to.

Causes of Music Performance Anxiety

So what are the causes of MPA (Music Performance Anxiety)? It’s important to understand what causes your performance anxiety before you can start to overcome it. For some people, it may be a specific phobia, such as a fear of public speaking or stage fright.

Others may have a general anxiety disorder or social anxiety disorder, which can make any type of performance situation stressful. And for some people, it may be a combination of these factors.

There are also physical causes of performance anxiety, such as an overactive sympathetic nervous system.

Performance

This can cause your heart to race, your palms to sweat, and your mind to go blank. If you’re someone who experiences these physical symptoms, it’s important to understand that they’re normal and that they don’t mean you’re not good enough to perform.

For many music artists the have similar thoughts that contribute to their music performance anxiety. These include:

Not being good enough

When you’re dealing with music performance anxiety, one of the main issues that can plague you is the fear of not being good enough.

This can come from a variety of places – maybe you grew up being told that you weren’t talented, or maybe you just don’t feel confident in your ability to play your instrument.

No matter where this fear comes from, it’s important to remember that everyone has their own talents and abilities, and just because you don’t feel confident in your ability doesn’t mean that you’re not good enough.

There are plenty of people who have gone on to have successful music careers despite not feeling confident in their abilities at first. So if you’re struggling with this fear, take heart – you can definitely overcome it and start performing the way you want to.

Being judged by others

When you’re performing in front of an audience, you may worry about being judged by them.

This can come from a variety of places, such as wanting to impress people or not wanting them to think badly of you.

No matter where this fear comes from, it can be very debilitating and make it difficult to perform the way you want to.

Remember that people are generally more interested in enjoying the performance than they are in judging you, so try to focus on that and not on what other people may be thinking of you.

Not being prepared

One of the main causes of music performance anxiety is not being prepared.

This can be due to a variety of things, such as not practicing enough or not knowing your material well enough.

Not being prepared can lead to a lot of anxiety because you may feel like you’re not ready and that you’re going to make mistakes.

It’s important to remember that everyone makes mistakes, and that’s okay. The key is to not let them get to you and to keep playing.

If you make a mistake, just take a deep breath and keep going. It’s not the end of the world and people will likely not even notice.

Unprepared

How to Get Over Music Performance Anxiety

There are many different ways to deal with music performance anxiety. Some of them may work better for you than others, so it’s important to experiment and find what works best for you.

Here are some tips on how to get over music performance anxiety:

Practice, practice, practice

One of the best ways to overcome music performance anxiety is to practice as much as possible.

The more you play, the more your performance quality will improve, the more confident performer you become and the more comfortable you’ll become with your material and the less anxious you’ll feel.

It’s also important to practice performing in front of people. This can be done by setting up a video camera and recording yourself, or by playing for friends and family members.

Every successful performance you do, the easier it will become and the less anxiety you’ll feel.

Know your material inside and out

Another way to deal with music performance anxiety is to know your material inside and out.

This means memorizing it so that you don’t have to think about what you’re playing, which can help calm your nerves.

It’s also important to be familiar with the piece so that you know what’s coming next and can be prepared for it.

This will help you feel more confident and in control, which can reduce your anxiety.

Recognize your triggers

In order to deal with music performance anxiety, it’s important to know what your triggers are.

What are the things that make you feel anxious? Is it thinking about the audience? Is it not knowing your material well enough?

Identifying your triggers can help you work on them so that they have less of an effect on you.

For example, if thinking about the audience makes you anxious, try to focus on something else instead, such as the music or your instrument.

If not knowing your material well enough is a trigger, then make sure to practice more so that you feel more confident and prepared.

Face your fears head on, by performing when you’re feeling anxious

One of the best ways to deal with music performance anxiety is to face your fears head on.

This means performing when you’re feeling anxious.

It may seem counterintuitive, but by doing this you’ll get used to performing when you’re feeling anxious and it will become less of a big deal.

Start with small performances, such as playing for friends and family, and then work your way up to larger audiences.

Recognize that you are good enough and that people want to hear you play

One of the main causes of performance anxiety is thinking that you’re not good enough and that people will laugh at you if you make a mistake.

Recognize that you are a talented music artist and that people want to hear you play. They’re not there to judge you, they’re there to enjoy your music.

Deep breathing

Deep breathing is a simple but effective way to deal with music performance anxiety.

When you’re feeling anxious, take a few deep breaths and focus on your breathing.

This will help you calm down and relax, which can make it easier to perform.

deep breath

The Alexander technique

What is the Alexander technique? The

Alexander technique is a method that helps you relearn how to move your body in a more efficient and relaxed way.

The Alexander technique is a method that can help you deal with music performance anxiety by teaching you how to release tension in your body.

Meditation

Meditation is another effective way to deal with music performance anxiety.

It can help you focus and calm your mind, which can make it easier to perform.

Yoga

Yoga is a great way to deal with music performance anxiety because it helps you relax and focus your mind.

It’s also a great way to release tension in your body.

Understand that everyone gets nervous

No matter how experienced or talented someone is, they still get nervous before a performance. It’s normal and natural to feel some nerves before playing in front of people. Accepting that fact can help you feel more comfortable with your own nerves.

Visualization

Visualization is another great way to deal with music performance anxiety.

Close your eyes and imagine yourself playing the piece perfectly.

Visualize yourself being confident and in control. This can help you feel more confident and less anxious when you’re actually performing.

Positive self-talk

Negative self-talk is one of the main causes of music performance anxiety.

If you’re constantly telling yourself that you’re not good enough or that you’re going to make a mistake, then it’s no wonder you’re feeling anxious!

Try to replace negative self-talk with positive self-talk.

Tell yourself that you can do this and that you’re going to play great.

Believe in yourself and your ability to perform well.

Find a support group

There are many different support groups available for people who suffer from music performance anxiety.

These groups can provide a great deal of support and advice on how to deal with the anxiety.

It can be helpful to talk to other people with different personality traits who are going through the same thing as you and to share your experiences.

Support groups can be found online or in person.

Get professional help

If you’re struggling to deal with music performance anxiety on your own, then it may be time to seek professional help.

This is particularly important if your anxiety is having a major impact on your life or if you’re not able to function normally.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that can be very helpful for people with music performance anxiety.

During CBT, you’ll work with a therapist to identify and change the negative thoughts and beliefs that are causing your anxiety.

If you’re struggling with music performance anxiety, don’t hesitate to seek out professional help.

These are just a few of the many different ways to deal with music performance anxiety.

Find the methods that work best for you and give them a try. With time and practice, you’ll be able to overcome your anxiety and start performing the way you want to.

Conclusion

Performing in front of people can be a daunting task for anyone, but it’s especially difficult if you suffer from music performance anxiety.

However, there are many different ways to deal with the anxiety and get over your fear. Try out some of the methods we’ve suggested and find the ones that work best for you. Yes, you will feel out of your comfort zone at first, but with time and practice, you’ll be able to overcome your anxiety and start performing at your peak performance.

So don’t give up! Believe in yourself and your ability to perform well. With time and effort, you can get over music performance anxiety and start enjoying performing.

FAQ

What is music performance anxiety?

Music performance anxiety is a type of anxiety that can occur before or during a musical performance. The anxiety can be caused by a variety of factors, such as the fear of making a mistake, the fear of being judged, or the fear of not being good enough.

What are some of the symptoms of music performance anxiety?

Some of the symptoms of music performance anxiety include sweating, shaking, heart palpitations, and difficulty breathing.

What are some ways to deal with music performance anxiety?

There are many different ways to deal with music performance anxiety. Some of the most common methods include visualization, positive self-talk, and finding a support group.

Can music performance anxiety be treated?

Yes, music performance anxiety can be treated with a variety of different methods, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, medication, and relaxation techniques.

What should I do if I’m struggling with music performance anxiety?

If you’re struggling with music performance anxiety, it’s important to seek professional help. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that can be very helpful for people with music performance anxiety. During CBT, you’ll work with a therapist to identify and change the negative thoughts and beliefs that are causing your anxiety.

If you are the Uk and you would like to know where you can get some mental health support, go to mind

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