Do you suffer from stage fright? Does your heart start beating like a drum just before a performance? Well, if you feel light-headed or tense before a piano recital, you can take gratification in the fact that you’re not the only one. The problem with being nervous is that it’s just the beginning, as it is often followed by anxiety, dizziness, and so on.
The bad news is that everyone suffers from stage fright, even the most professional pianist often suffer from nervousness right before a show. Everyone’s bound to feel some sort of discomfort before a performance, but here are a few scientist-approved tips that will help you lose your inhibitions and leave your audience awestruck.
1. Warm Up Your Digits
An official study conducted by the Yale University revealed that warming up your finger has a tendency to increase one’s composure. This has been scientifically proven to work because stress triggers an auto-response from the body, signaling it to derive heat from your extremities to keep your core warm. So the next time you have a piano recital, try warming up those magical fingers by wrapping them around a hot cup of your favorite beverage, or simply keep them toasty inside your coat or jacket.
2. What are Friends for?
Ringing up a close friend or a relative right before a recital has proven to boost the body’s composure, and reduce stress in the bargain. Confiding in a friend will also take the edge of your need to be perfect, because a little reassurance can go a really long way.
3. Quick Exercise Session – The 5 Minute Hack to Overcoming Nervousness
That’s right; exercise is good for you, even if you’re a pianist! Exercising triggers the release of endorphins the body’s feel-good hormone, and has been proven to induce calm. So what are you waiting for, put on your workout clothes and get to it! What is wrong with looking a little thinner as well? You may not have to change either, you can do some sit ups and jumping jacks dressed in any type of clothes. Just take it easy though, do not rip anything.
4. Reduce Clutter and Wind Up for a Serene Session of Piano Playing
Remember how your mother kept telling you to clean up your room? Well, she might have had a point; a recent study conducted by folks at the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute has proven that clearing clutter from your surroundings and daily life can boost your sense of serenity, and make you feel like you’re the one in control. The physical clutter increases your psychological stress levels.
5. Make sure You’re Well Rested
Lack of sleep affects physical health and adds to one’s anxiety and stress. Every pianist needs to get a good night’s rest in order to pull off the kind of performance they’ve been practicing for days. So make sure you get at least a proper seven hours of sleep, preferably for at least a week before your recital.
6. Smile – It makes everything so much Better
Even something as simple as a smile can make enough of a difference to your psyche and give you that extra confidence to boost your performance. Scientific research findings have revealed that smiling and/or laughing can reduce the effects of stage fright and anxiety.
7. Avoid Sugar
A number of independent researchers have suggested that all sugary products and processed foods can lead to bouts of severe anxiety. Avoid sugar for a few days before your performance, so it doesn’t add to your anxiety on the day of your piano recital. Instead, switch to foods that are rich in nutrients like Vitamin B & omega-3 fatty acids.
8. Meditate – To Deliver a Soulful Recital
Meditation has been a source of peace and solace for millions, and for a very long time. Even scientific studies have revealed that meditation increases the amount of the brain’s mystical grey matter. Meditation’ positive effects can alleviate most types of depression, anxiety, mood swings, and so on.
9. Share a Light Moment
As counterproductive as it may sound, sharing a light moment with someone, especially kids and/or animals, is one of the best ways to bust your stress or take your mind off the performance at hand. Spend a few playful days with a companion of your choice.
10. Observe Silence – It Helps
It is said that any kind of alarms, tones, and even low-level noises can increase the body’s stress. Sometimes doing absolutely nothing in a soundless environment can help reduce stress & anxiety. So, switch off your cellphone, disconnect the TV, and just tune in to the sound of nothingness. And do some jumping jacks too!
Featured Image: Image Credit
— Mental Floss (@mental_floss) March 8, 2016
— Lang Lang (@lang_lang) March 10, 2016
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Warming Up for a Piano Recital
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As the Recital Approaches:
One of the best ways to help your child prepare for his/her recital is to have him/her play for the family at home, BEFORE the recital. Many students are more nervous about playing in front of their family members than in front of strangers. Via Sally Piano