Christmas Piano Concert - OMG ! I have to play the piano in front of an audience, stage fright how to overcome it?
The only way to overcome stage fright and nervousness is to get used to it. That means - play in front of an audience often.
The music school I am attending was planning to have a Christmas Concert. My piano teacher felt that I should perform in it.
Not having much say in the matter I had to go along with the idea, and decided to play ‘River Flows in You’ by Yiruma.
I went early to warm up hoping it would help me calm myself down before the performance. That was when a tall, leggy young woman with a pink scarf tied around her collar approached me.
“Is this your first time performing?”
“Yes. I am so nervous.”
“That’s normal, everyone is the first time.”
“I have never seen you before, are you a teacher here?”
“I teach at another branch. I’m Miss Kim by the way”
“I see. I hope I don’t go blank and completely freeze up there.”
“Don’t’ worry you’ll be fine. I heard you practising just now, you play very well. Good luck.”
While waiting for the event to start another girl came to sit beside me. I was caught off guard when she asked me if I was nervous. “Don’t be or you will make mistakes,” she said. That was nice, women are friendly to me today, must be the suit and tie I was wearing.
Stage fright is common in every performer. I have heard many tips and advice on how to overcome it. Some say breathe, relax, pretend the audience is not there and other useless mumbo jumbo, none of which helped me when I was performing.
The only way to overcome stage fright is to get used to it. I intend to perform in front of an audience as often as I can, like in a recital or piano competitions.
Just like riding a horse, if you fall down get back up on the saddle.
It is heartening to know that there are many famously successful pianists who also suffered from stage fright.
Leopod Godowsky had it.
Despite the problem with nervousness while performing in front of a large audience, he endured it and survived to eventually become the highest paid solo instrumentalist in the world in the 1900s.
He also wrote several hundred compositions that have cemented his legacy as one of the greatest pianist of all time.
Frederic Chopin was also frought with stage fright when his teacher Josef Elsner first brought him to Vienna to perform in a concert.
Still he shined in that performance bringing the audience to their feet for a standing ovation. He continued to write more than 230 compositions that includes marzukas, waltzes and ballades.