Avoiding Performance Jitters

When I was younger, I performed all the time & found it quite easy.  Yes I got a bit nervous, but nothing that held me back.  However after a long break from playing piano in public, I have a whole new understanding of how many of my students have felt … at least for their first recital.

Below is a list of 5 ways (plus a bonus) to help either you or your students deal with performance jitters!

Avoiding Performance Jitters

The Bulletproof Musician (site)

If you are looking for researched based information on how musicians can effectively learn songs & practice in order to perform their repertoire, Noa Kageyama’s The Bulletproof Musician comes out ahead every time.  While it would be easy to create a whole article on the vast library he has on the subject … I’ll just recommend a few.

4 Weeks to Recital

I am a fan of how Teach Piano Today takes everyday ideas & turns them on their heads!  4 Weeks to Recital Ready is a great checklist to see how students are coming along in their songs & making sure they are ready for the big day.  While this checklist doesn’t specifically focus on performance anxiety, it does have students do quite a few different things with their songs to help them feel prepared regardless of what happens day of.

“My child won’t be participating.”

The words every teacher dreads to hear or read in the weeks coming up to the recital.  As much as I empathize with performance anxiety, my students (& their parents) get loads of encouragement in the weeks before the recital.  How to Persuade a Reluctant Piano Performer … And Her Parents has a great template for addressing parent concerns when the nerves get too much for both student & parent(s).

Reflecting on the Performance

What if we could do a fun reflection activity with our students after the recital?  I’m sure most teachers ask “How do you think you did?”.  But, let’s take that further.  Let’s help our students reflect on what went well & what advice they could give others.

Reflect on Piano Recital Performances With This Fun Mad Gab Printable by Teach Piano Today helps students reflect on their performance Mad Lib style.  And, who doesn’t like Mad Libs?  No one!

Five P’s for Sparkling Performances

I love how Leila Viss broke down the performance preparation into 5 steps for her students! Five P’s and Ten Tips for Sparkling Performances makes it easy for students to mentally check in at the recital & run through a series of steps to get them ready to play.  It was a great reminder of what I should be ensuring my students practice each lesson in the weeks up the recital.

Dealing With Performance Anxiety (bonus)

While Dealing With Performance Anxiety has many of the same ideas as other articles, it’s a quick read with actionable steps to take both before & during the recital.  This may even be the article I encourage my students (or their parents) to read if they are feeling exceptionally nervous!

Success on the Stage

Each year, my anxiety reduces in playing at my studio recital.  Now, I am at the stage where I may be able to perform at my piano teacher’s group lessons to up the ante.  But, the above articles have gone a long way to help me get a little closer to the confident performer that I used to be.

I would love to hear how you deal with performance anxiety … or, how you help your students deal with their performance jitters!

Have a great weekend!

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