Everyday I try to fit in some "Learning Time" and so I subscribe to websites and blogs that help me learn.
One of those is Musical U, and today I got this great advice; so good that I'm sharing it on my blog. I highly recommend you check out their Mini Courses.
"Whether you're playing or singing...
"Whether you're playing or singing...
Whether it's a piece you've played a thousand times...
Or you're improvising something new on the spot...
Performing music can be nerve-wracking.
And yet the very best musicians all seem to be rock solid, don't they?
When you see a professional perform it seems like they're immune to the confidence issues that you and me are so familiar with.
Is it possible to develop that kind of unshakeable confidence yourself?
Yes. I'm glad to tell you, it is.
And although a big part of it is the old advice "practice, practice, practice", there are more practical ways you can quickly develop rock-solid musical confidence.
Here are a couple of suggestions...
(Note: If you want more in-depth advice we have a free mini course, "7 Shortcuts to Musical Confidence". Click here to start it now.)
Confidence Technique #1: Practice realistically
It's actually not enough to just "practice, practice, practice" - and this is what trips a lot of musicians up.
Maybe you've experienced this yourself.
You practice your pieces a thousand times, you've got them note perfect and you're feeling confident.
The trouble is, you've only ever practised at home on your own, or in the classroom with your teacher.
Getting it note-perfect in an ideal practice situation does not mean you'll be able to nail it up on stage.
That's why when performance time comes and you step up there and look out at the audience, suddenly your confidence can evaporate. Leaving you nervous and shakey and prone to mistakes.
Fortunately the solution is simple: plan for this!
You know the situation you'll perform in ahead of time. So don't just practice your notes, practice the situation too.
Find a few friends or family members to perform for, to act as your audience.
Find a place which resembles the actual performance venue, or if possible try practising in the venue itself.
Do everything you can to simulate the real performance scenario.
If you can still get your piece note-perfect when things are very similar to the real situation, you'll find the performance night itself far less intimidating.
And when you step up there on stage for the real performance, your confidence will stay strong.
Confidence Technique #2: Surround yourself with the right people
Another reason musicians struggle with confidence is that they've isolated themselves.
Why? Because for all of us, failure is embarrassing.
When we make a mistake during one performance, we're likely to close up and be defensive when talking about it and discussing future performances.
The problem is this leaves us all feeling like everybody else has it easy (like those unshakeable pros) while we're the only one suffering from confidence worries.
The result: a downward spiral of fear and anxiety and lower and lower confidence.
The fix for this is simple:
That's why we put a focus on community at the heart of Musical U. We've seen again and again just how valuable it is for musicians to talk about issues like stage fright and performance anxiety and get reassurance from hearing that other people are going through the same things. It also provides a great opportunity to share tips and tricks for building confidence and overcoming anxiety.
Just employ these two techniques and you can transform your musical confidence. You'll quickly become a musician who can confidently step onto a stage and perform to the very best of your ability.
So once confidence is covered, what about developing your actual ability?
How can you make the most rapid progress possible in learning music?
That's what we'll dive into next time.