I love to sing. I have even taken voice lessons since I was 10, but now I am preparing for a solo, and I’m frightened to death. I start sweating and my heart starts beating very fast when I even think about it. Does this feeling go away? – Closet Songbird
Dear Closet Songbird,
First, congratulations on making it into Honors Choir! Second, standing in front of others and performing doesn’t come naturally to most people. I have yet to hear from singers, speakers, politicians, and celebrities that they don’t get nervous before going in front of a crowd even if they are in front of others on a regular basis. However, it can become easier the more you are in front of others.
It does not necessarily become easier because you become less nervous, but because you can learn exercises to help you manage nervousness. Keep in mind these simple steps before and during the event.
- Practice and rehearse. Know your words and music so well that if you get nervous you can slip into autopilot.
- Visualize yourself going through the performance. This includes walking onto the stage, singing your solo, and then leaving the stage. Visualize each step so that you can be prepared and know what to expect.
- Breathe. It sounds like simple advice, but when you are nervous, your breathing becomes quick and shallow. If you focus and remember to breathe deeply, your body will calm down.
- Focus on something other than the audience. Audience members are unaware of their facial expressions when watching a performance. If you look to them to see how you are performing you will find blank expressions and become nervous. Find a point on the wall or somewhere else away from faces.
- If you are being judged, remember why you are performing. Keep your mind on the music and the fact that you love to sing. Pray about your performance, and remember to perform for God rather than to receive praise from others.
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