This subject comes up time and again, musicians wondering how they can “overcome” stage fright and perform flawlessly on stage. Let’s take a look at the last part of that statement first.
To begin with, there are no flawless performances. We never live up to our own expectations, which is why we strive so hard to improve ourselves. This is as true for the professional as it is for the beginner.
On the other hand, every performance can be flawless … at least from the audience’s point of view.
Now for the first part of my original statement. Stage fright is not something one can “overcome”, as if it were the enemy causing you to make mistakes and play out of control. Rather, it is a perspective that can be changed with a thought.
Too many musicians approach performance as a battle, something to overcome. I have found that when I approach performance as an opportunity to share, I am not afflicted with the nerves associated with stage fright. Instead, I find a connection with my audience that energizes and inspires me and fills me with joy. This is why I perform. I do not perform in order to show the world how perfectly I can play … because if I were to do that, I would be sorely disappointed every single time.
Try this for yourself and see if it works for you. And remember the reason why you started fiddling in the first place: For the joy of sharing music that you love.
This perspective applies equally well in all areas of life. The next time you are stressed about a project at work, or a situation at home, get outside of yourself and make the emotional connection that brings you joy and fulfillment in the activity. Let me know how this works for you!
If you enjoyed this blog and are interested in reading others like it, please visit my trad tune learning website fiddlin4you. While you’re there, be sure to stop in at the store for FREE downloadable tunes. These tunes are my arrangements of traditional Celtic tunes, each section recorded at slow, medium, and fast tempos. With the sound files, you will also receive a PDF and jPeg of the written music to help you learn the tunes more easily. Enjoy!