Singers and music performers are especially prone to performance anxiety or what is commonly called “stage fright”. In fact, some research has shown that upwards of 80% of all musical performers have experienced performance anxiety at one time or another. Even among professional orchestral musicians, some 60-75% rely on “beta-blocker” drugs to help them calm down before a performance. For some performers, it is a constant worry and many have avoided performing at recitals and auditions because they are overcome by anxiety and fearful of having a “meltdown”.
The cause of performance anxiety is the same for all performers: the stress of performing activates the sympathetic nervous system which triggers a range of physiological responses that undercuts performance. Performance anxiety is especially debilitating for singers and musicians because they must utilize their fine motor skills and breathing in support of vocalization, both of which are directly affected by the body’s physiological response to stress.
While some performers get anxious because of unresolved technical/musical problems, many more suffer from an “inner critic” which causes them to lose confidence in performing before others. What the singer or musician can do in the rehearsal studio does not necessarily translate to the stage. We now know that most musicians and singers concentrate on their musical craft when practicing but not on developing their performance skills. In fact, some performance psychologists consider the lack of training for performance skills to be the “missing link” that explains the prevalence of performance anxiety.
At Peak Performance Systems, we work with singers and musicians to first identify what their performance challenges are. Using self-report inventories, we can target exactly what needs to be addressed in order to eliminate performance anxiety. Using a combination of traditional performance skills–relaxation, goalsetting, self-talk, visualization and concentration–and the new brain-based techniques now available, we can turn the performance anxiety into performance success. You can learn to regulate your emotional activation level and focus on driving your performance to ever higher levels.
Please review the other pages in this website that details the type of new techniques that can help you be your best.