Helping a Child with Performance Anxietypractice techniquesRecital3 Ways to Help Your Child Overcome Performance Anxiety and Prepare Effectively for Their Piano Recital

April 28, 2010by emilylowe1

As a piano teacher in Nashville, TN for the last 14 years, I have held numerous piano recitals. My students enter the building looking like a sea of white faces, super nervous about their upcoming performance. I, too, feel anxiety about how each one of them will do - I want all of them to feel great about their performance! I struggled (and still do at times) with performance anxiety during my recitals and understand the stress that they all feel. Over the years I have come up with many ways to help the students face their performance anxiety head-on! Here are 3 ways to help your child overcome performance anxiety and prepare effectively for their piano recital:

3 Ways to Help Your Child Overcome Performance Anxiety and Prepare Effectively for Their Piano Recital

Help Your Child Prepare Effectively for Their Piano Recital!
Help Your Child Prepare Effectively for Their Piano Recital!

As a piano teacher in Nashville, TN  for the last 14 years, I have held numerous piano recitals.  My students enter the building as a sea of white faces, super nervous about their upcoming performance.  I, too, feel anxiety about how each one of them will do – I want all of them to feel great about their performance!  I struggled (and still do at times) with performance anxiety during my recitals and understand the stress that they all feel.  Over the years I have come up with many ways to help the students face their performance anxiety head-on!  Here are 3 ways to help your child overcome performance anxiety and prepare effectively for their piano recital:

  1. Encourage Your Child to Do Extra Practicing.  We’ve all heard the term “Practice Makes Perfect.”  And these words never ring more true than when it comes to piano recital time!  I usually tell my students that you know you’re prepared for your piano recital when you are so sick of a piece of music that you think you cannot possibly bear to play it one more time.  I have that rule for myself as well when it comes to classical piano performance!
  2. Teach Your Child Some Basic Relaxation Techniques.  There are two that I encourage my students to use.  First, have them breathe deeply.  Holding their breath for a few seconds and then slowly releasing the breath will help their heart rate to slow, making them feel more relaxed.  Secondly, I have my students visualize themselves performing well at the piano recital.  When they can envision themselves actually performing and “surviving” successfully, they seem to feel more prepared, relaxed and confident!
  3. Talk to Your Child about Using Extra Focusing Skills During the Piano Recital.  While this may seem to be the same idea as the previously mentioned visualization, this actually has more to do with the music itself.  As the students waits patiently through other performances, they can use that time to try and “see” the music in their mind.  Focusing in on what they are about to do will help their brain stay out of “auto-pilot” mode and will help them be more alert during their performance, rather than being focused on their nerves.

Try out some of these three ways to help your child over their performance anxiety!  And always remind them that you love them no matter how they perform!  I tell my students that I am proud of them for trying, no matter how it goes. 

Best wishes to all those who will be performing in their piano recitals this spring!  Break a leg!

Our 2010 Recital will be held this Sunday, May 2 at the Belmont Mansion.  It’s not open to the public, but if you would like to attend and see some stellar piano, guitar, voice and percussion/drum kit students, then give me a call and I will gladly make arrangements for you to attend!

One of the Best Parts of any Piano Recital - The Cake!
One of the Best Parts of any Piano Recital - The Cake!

If you are currently seeking lessons in piano, guitar, banjo, voice, strings, woodwinds, brass or percussion / drums, then call Music Star Studios at 615.509.1753!  Based in Nashville, Brentwood, and Franklin, TN, our knowledgeable teachers provide music lessons both in-home and online by webcam! We select our teachers carefully and want all of our students to shine!

One comment

  • Susan McAllister-Bee

    May 30, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Hi! Love your ideas about how to handle performance anxiety. I teach MYC in St. Thomas, Ontario. I also tell my students it gets easier each time you perform in public….every performance is like putting a penny in your “Bank of Confidence”. Happy teaching! Susan

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