Despite being confident in your skills as a piano player, many people find themselves becoming more and more anxious the closer to their recital. After all, performing in front of a large group of people can certainly be nerve-wracking. Unfortunately, letting your nerves get the best of you right before a recital will only increase your chances of making a mistake. To prevent any slip ups, it’s important to find ways to relax and put your mind at ease. If you find yourself getting nervous before a big piano recital, try using one of the following piano recital tips to help you calm down.
1. Use Your Imagination
Visualization is a helpful technique that requires you to imagine details of the upcoming event. When you imagine yourself performing successfully and believe that it can actually happen, it will. Try to picture yourself in front of the audience, blowing them away with your incredible talent. The more you visualize this, the more likely it will happen.
2. Breathing Techniques
Taking deep breaths is a go to for people who are looking for ways to relieve anxiety or stress. All you need to do to relax is focus on your breathing. Hold your breath for a few seconds before breathing out slowly. This technique is helpful as it relaxes your heart rate and gives your brain the ability to focus on what’s important – in this case, your recital.
3. Exercise Regularly
It’s been proven over and over again that exercise is a great way to relieve any sort of stress or anxiety. Believe it or not, exercise is also a great way to help get rid of jitters. Exercise as often as you can on the days leading up to the recital, as well as on the day of. This will help you take your mind off of your worries and will help you regain the confidence you need to perform.
4. Reduce Your Sugar Intake
Sugar is known to increase your heart rate and contribute to your anxiety. Because of this, it’s best to avoid eating foods with too much sugar in it, opting out for healthier foods on the day of your recital in particular. Healthy foods will be able to feed your brain and give you the focus you need to do your best during your performance.
5. Carry a Comforting Item Around
Even if you aren’t someone who is superstitious, carrying around an item of comfort to you or one that you consider a good luck charm can help with your pre-performance jitters. Place the item in a pocket or someplace where you can reach for it discreetly and when you need it the most. Warm items are known to be extra soothing, so if you don’t have a special item to carry with you, consider holding hand warmers to bring you a little comfort.
6. Think Positively
It’s easy to let your mind run away with negative thoughts. However, try not to let them get the best of you. Every time you have a negative thought, try to turn it around the moment you realize what you’re doing.
7. Wear Comfortable Clothing
What you wear can make a huge difference in your confidence. If you know you look good, you’ll feel good too. Make sure to also pick out an outfit that you’ll be physically comfortable in. Nothing will ruin your focus more than an itchy jacket or shoes that are too small.
8. Practice Gratitude
One way to manage your anxiety before a recital is to practice gratitude. Gratitude is an emotion that allows you to feel calm and can significantly reduce stress. Before you get on stage, take a moment to make a mental list of all the things in your life that you’re grateful for. This will surely get you out of whatever negative headspace you’re in.
While you should always make sure your body is hydrated, drinking a lot of water in the days leading up to your performance is a great way to clear your mind. The brain works best when it’s hydrated, so make sure to drink up as much water as you can. To help remind yourself to drink more water, carry around a water bottle with you wherever you go. This way, you’ll be able to take sips here and there whenever you get the chance.
10. Think About the Music
A good way to get rid of your fear of pianos is to allow yourself to think of nothing else but the music. While you’re performing, allow yourself to get lost in the music and try your hardest to forget about the audience that’s in front of you. The more you focus on the music you’re playing, the more your anxiety will melt away. Before you know it, your recital will be over and you’ll be wishing you had more time to keep on playing.
11. Practice, Practice, Practice
This is a given, but it’s something worth mentioning. The more you practice, the more confident you’ll be in your ability to perform. When you practice on a regular basis, it will eventually become a routine and both your body and mind will get used to performing. Better yet, look for opportunities to perform whenever you can, even if it’s just in front of your family or friends.