Overcoming Stage Fright: How Music Lessons Can Help

One of the best things about taking music lessons is that you get to eventually show off what you’ve learned to others. Whether it’s in your living room or in a crowded theatre, many budding musicians find that one thing really holds them back: stage fright.

Just as with your music lessons, stage fright is something that will improve the more you practice. But that still doesn’t make getting out there easy, especially for newcomers.

Here are some tips to help you avoid stage fright and become the musician you’ve always wanted to be.

Stage Fright: What Is It?

Your brain has one mission: To keep you alive.

In the days of sabretooth tigers and mammoths, the areas of your brain that help you fight or flee from danger had a really important job to do. Today, we don’t face those same dangers. The problem is, your brain doesn’t know that. For many people, the brain views going out on stage in the same way it would see facing down that sabretooth thousands of years ago.

When you get down to it, stage fright is simply a form of anxiety. And like every other form of anxiety, it’s simply your brain thinking you’re in danger, even when there’s no actual threat to your health or safety. Still, the experience is very real. You get scared, your palms get sweaty, and you have the urge to either flee or freeze.

It’s normal – and you can overcome it!

Overcoming Stage Fright

One of the most important things you can do to overcome stage fright is to simply be gentle to yourself. You’re not unusual for feeling that way and even seasoned musicians get jitters before a show. Even famous performers like John Lennon had stage fright – he reportedly would throw up before going out on stage. And he was a Beatle!

The point is, you’re not alone in these feelings. In fact, you’re in excellent company.

One of the best strategies for overcoming this unique form of anxiety is to work on improving your confidence. Taking music lessons can be a big help. The longer you take lessons – and the more you practice your instrument – the more your confidence increases. And while this might not be enough to help you completely overcome your fears, the realization that you know your music gives you much less to stress over.

Practical Tips to Try on Your Own

Now, work on incorporating these practical tips to help you overcome it:

Create a time limit – You can be nervous, so give yourself permission to feel that way. But also understand the longer you allow yourself to feel anxious, the more anxiety it’ll add to the situation. So, put a time limit on your anxiety and tell yourself that it’s time to move on after a certain point, then do something to get your mind off it.

Visualize the performance – Often, simply visualizing yourself successfully completing a performance is all you need to really overcome stage fright. Being positive is a great way to set yourself up for success, after all!

Exercise – If you’re feeling cagey, then get some exercise to help you burn off some of that nervous energy. The endorphins released during exercise will help you to manage your anxiety and feel better, too.

Taking music lessons is a dream come true for many people, so don’t hold yourself back from achieving your dreams because of stage fright. You can do it – let us bring out the performer in you!

“Music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.”
- Billy Joel
©Greater Austin Music Academy 2023

Austin Music Academy