Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Gifts and supplies for the musician
SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
Ad (Piano Sing)
How to Make Your Piano Sing
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
Who's Online
112 registered (anotherscott, Anita Potter, ando, 36251, 37 invisible), 1248 Guests and 14 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Pianos
Topic Options
#2026627 - 02/04/13 01:04 AM stage fright , anyone?
jian1zh Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/13
Posts: 23
I always have stage fright, since I was little, and nothing changed so far. Whenever I am on stage, whether it's been church or school, I play worse than what I normally play.

How do you deal with stage fright?

Top
(ads 568) Hailun Pianos

 

#2026660 - 02/04/13 02:55 AM Re: stage fright , anyone? [Re: jian1zh]
Pianolance Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 1192
Loc: Nashville, TN
The best way to deal with stage fright is to be vastly over prepared. So prepared that you can do your music backward and forward. That way, when you get ready to go on stage you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are ready. Then, tell yourself as you are going onstage that you ARE ready and you CAN NOT make any mistakes. When you sit down at the piano, stop and take a deep breath or two, make sure you are comfortable, and then play it like you have 1000 times before. Best of luck.
_________________________
Knabe 5'2" Louis XV Walnut circa 1927
Very part time piano broker.

Top
#2026675 - 02/04/13 03:25 AM Re: stage fright , anyone? [Re: jian1zh]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21918
Loc: Oakland
There currently is a topic on this subject in the Pianist Corner.

Click here to go to it.


Edited by BDB (02/04/13 03:28 AM)
Edit Reason: added link
_________________________
Semipro Tech

Top
#2026737 - 02/04/13 07:51 AM Re: stage fright , anyone? [Re: Pianolance]
jdw Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 1038
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
I agree with doing a lot of preparation, and giving oneself a message of confidence about that can be good. But I think telling yourself you can't make any mistakes can easily backfire when the first mistake happens. I find it more helpful to focus on the overall musical experience rather than whether there are mistakes or not.
_________________________
1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Grieg, Papillon
Mozart, K 330
Brahms, Op. 118 no. 2

Top
#2026751 - 02/04/13 08:34 AM Re: stage fright , anyone? [Re: jian1zh]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12215
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
It is a complex issue that takes little steps over a long period of time with lots of performances along the way to build upon.

Preparation is very important. Not only do you have to know your music well, but you have to know *yourself* well. Know the places where you are likely to make mistakes, and create a Plan B (Plan A is to play perfectly). Plan B is what you are going to do if you make a mistake in this spot. Then you practice playing Plan B every time it comes up in your practicing. You still try to play what is written of course, so if you play it perfectly then you don't resort to Plan B.

You will also want to practice starting from different key spots in the piece. I would pick areas where the music changes, after a cadence, things like that and practice starting from those areas at random. Also, practice starting from a spot right after places where you are likely to make a mistake. Sometimes Plan B will be just to skip to the next measure. These things will help you to play without stopping or having to go back to the beginning and start over.

Then there is the part of preparation that involves simulating a performance before the real thing. This should happen after you've gone through the above prep work, but no less than 1 week prior to the performance. Play for everyone and anyone who will hear you. You can also video record yourself (or audio, but video is much better I think) which can simulate a performance as well. Be sure to listen or watch it and try not to be overly critical of yourself, but make comments that are valid changes you'd like to make in your playing.

Lastly, but vastly important, is the inner dialogue. This is what goes on in your head as you perform. See if you can reflect on your past few performances and recall what was going through your mind while you were playing. My guess is that your thoughts were not focused completely on the music and what was coming up next immediately, but rather on the audience, issues you might have with the piano or the position/height of the bench, how your hands are shaking or butterflies in the stomach or other symptoms of anxiety, that mistake you made 2 measures ago and how upset you are that you made it - basically everything BUT what you should be thinking about.

Music is about communicating feeling/emotions through sound. If you are not focused on the music and what you want it to sound like in the moment (NOT the past, which you can't change by thinking about it) then you are no longer communicating with the audience, you are communicating with YOURSELF. This is what is called "inner dialogue", and it is what destroys even the most prepared performers.

During your practice performances, you are to try and shut this inner dialogue off. It will still come in, but as soon as you notice it, refocus your mind back to what's coming up next in the music. Perhaps your first time you'll be able to stay focused 10 or 20% of the time. Then the next time it will be a little bit better. It's very hard to ever get to 100%, so don't get wrapped up in perfectionism. Just do the best that you can with the time you have before each performance. After the performance, assess your progress. If you had one moment where you noticed your mind wandered and you were able to reign it back in, then that is a successful performance and you can build upon that for your next concert.

Remember, live performance is about the risk, and that is what makes it exciting for the audience. It's not about perfect at all. It's about communicating feeling, and you can certainly do that with wrong notes.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

Top
#2026881 - 02/04/13 12:26 PM Re: stage fright , anyone? [Re: Pianolance]
morrisonpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/20/11
Posts: 22
Originally Posted By: Pianolance
The best way to deal with stage fright is to be vastly over prepared. So prepared that you can do your music backward and forward. That way, when you get ready to go on stage you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are ready. Then, tell yourself as you are going onstage that you ARE ready and you CAN NOT make any mistakes. When you sit down at the piano, stop and take a deep breath or two, make sure you are comfortable, and then play it like you have 1000 times before. Best of luck.


Actually, I disagree--it sounds to me like the OP has over-prepared. There's a reason young students perform better than older adults--their brain doesn't get in the way, they just play. I read the various points of view on the discussion in the link at pianists corner. There are several options, and the OP needs to find what works best.

a: just trust that you know your stuff and block negative thoughts before and while performing (mental control)
b: do "stress testing" before performance (record, videotape, have someone distract you, etc)
c: beta-blockers--a last resort, I think, but more nervous temperaments (pun intended smile may find this a good solution
d: perform regularly and allow yourself to fail without getting worked up about it--laugh at yourself, dont take yourself too seriously
e: get counseling--results vary wildly, I haven't found this to be too helpful.

Bob

Top
#2026891 - 02/04/13 12:38 PM Re: stage fright , anyone? [Re: jian1zh]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8585
Loc: Georgia, USA
I suffer from severe stage fright… maybe I just don’t play in public enough. Let me tell you about the time I royally messed up in front of 2500 people… never mind, it hurts to think about it. smile

I learned a valuable lesson though… the art of recovery. smile

Rick
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

Top
#2026912 - 02/04/13 01:24 PM Re: stage fright , anyone? [Re: jian1zh]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Hmmmmmmmmmm Rick!

That is surprising because you always seem so calm in your videos.

Was there an EMS squad standing by at the wedding?

(Just kidding)
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

Top
#2027033 - 02/04/13 05:26 PM Re: stage fright , anyone? [Re: jian1zh]
jian1zh Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/13
Posts: 23
I am alwayse over preparing things, as a perfectionist, I always over-do stuff, yet the fright again messes me up, not to badly, not to a point that I can't finish playing, but the silly mistakes I've made really irritates me. damn, maybe it's me OCB too.

I am also a very shy person, I always admire those who don't give a damn on stage, and can keep a straight face even mistakes occur, or maybe they are faking their confidence as well?haha

Top
#2027143 - 02/04/13 09:38 PM Re: stage fright , anyone? [Re: Morodiene]
jdw Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 1038
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Excellent post, Morodiene!
_________________________
1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Grieg, Papillon
Mozart, K 330
Brahms, Op. 118 no. 2

Top
#2027178 - 02/04/13 11:14 PM Re: stage fright , anyone? [Re: jian1zh]
Steven Y. A. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/13
Posts: 291
Loc: Toronto
It's more of a self-evolve thing... I use to be a very shy person,too. Could not speak a word in public presentation. But my career path requires me to present my design to clients very well, so i practice a [censored] ton load of presentations. And it helped.


I would suggest to get a decent recording device and try to record your own works. Make it "one chance only" and practice over and over again.
_________________________
PLEYEL P124

Top
#2027467 - 02/05/13 01:51 PM Re: stage fright , anyone? [Re: jian1zh]
Seeker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 361
Loc: Rockville, MD
Topic should probably be called, "Stage Fright, EVERYONE".

We all have it at some point or other.

One of the best ways to make it go away is to practice performing (not an oxymoron).

Perform in front of people - often.

Start with people that know and like you.

Eventually, you will become "seasoned" and have learned to make friends with your adrenaline.

Good luck.
_________________________
Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")

Top
#2027476 - 02/05/13 02:05 PM Re: stage fright , anyone? [Re: Seeker]
PianoManChuck Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/05/12
Posts: 113
Loc: Los Angeles, California
I've found that volunteering once/week at a place that accepts pianist volunteers helps tremendously! I volunteer once/week playing piano in the lobby of a medical building. A lot of medical centers and hospitals have pianos and volunteer pianists. Volunteering serves many purposes aside from the obvious (publicly performing), which include testing out crowd reactions to original music, testing out which piece(s) the crowd reacts more favorably toward, you get used to performing over loud conversations, and your "audience" consists of anywhere from zero to 100 (or more) people at any given time... when you realize that many people are simply walking by to get to their destination (and don't really care if anyone's playing the piano), you start feeling more like you're trying a piano out at a public store such as Guitar Center.
I read an article recently that stated that Richard Starke (aka Ringo Starr... former drummer for the Beatles) STILL has stage freight, at least for the first few minutes of a show... after that he's fine.

Top
#2027496 - 02/05/13 02:31 PM Re: stage fright , anyone? [Re: jian1zh]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8585
Loc: Georgia, USA
Not to be too wordy, or overbearing, but I know a lot of us at PW like a good read; we participate in PW to learn, to share and for general entertainment purposes.

Here is post I extracted from the archives about me messing up in front of 2500 people... some of you may have read it before, but I thought it would be interesting to those who have not.

The bottom line, as has been mentioned here, a lot of things can contribute to severe stage fright... smile

I was invited to perform the special music at my college graduation ceremony back in June, 2009. I was flattered to no end that they would ask me to perform at such an event. I had about 2 months to practice my song, (“Wind beneath my wings”). I practiced it and practiced it and practiced it some more and felt comfortable about my upcoming performance. Everybody that heard it told me how good it was and how much they enjoyed it.

A few weeks before the graduation, I got to practice on the 9 foot Kawai concert grand at the facility (a large church in the area) a few times. I thought I was all set. I was comfortable with my arrangement of the song and my playing and singing.

On the day of the graduation, (with an expected attendance of about 2500 people) I got to the church a couple of hours early and practiced some more. I felt really good about my pending performance. As a member of the faculty of the college, I had to march in with the faculty. While we were standing in line, a couple of the faculty members asked me what I would be performing and I told them ‘Wind beneath my wings”. They (two men) began to make jokes about my song. They were sarcastically singing “wind beneath my wig” and “you’re not my hero” to each other, like children, even though they were supposed to be educated professionals. Those silly comments by my colleagues really bothered me. In fact, it bothered me a lot, but I didn’t want to give them a piece of my mind at that moment; but the comments were even more detrimental to my nerves, my fear, and my performance anxiety.

Next, there was a quartet of professional musicians who were hired to play the marching music, “Pomp and circumstance” when the faculty and students were marching in and out. One played the violin, one the flute, one the cello and one the piano. They were very good musicians, by the way. And, for some reason I was extremely nervous to be competing with those professional musicians (even though it was not a competition, per-se). Plus, I was further intimidated because they were sitting so close to me when it was my time to perform. They were within arms length and I could just feel their eyes trained on me sizing me up and scrutinizing my musical ability to no end.

All this tension and excess anxiety that I was not expecting, more or less, got the best of me. In spite of all the practicing I had done and all my good intentions, I was as nervous as a cat. At the moment it was my time to perform, I was wishing I had declined the invitation to perform. The pressure was enormous. I thought to myself that I am too old and too poor of musician to put myself in this position. There I was, in font of all my colleagues, the president of the college, board of directors, local and state dignitaries, and community business leaders and all the graduates and their families. I began to feel really uncomfortable to the point of being nauseated and sick at my stomach.

As I made my way to the piano, through the maze of professional musicians, who had moved my microphone from where I had it to start with, and sat down at the concert grand, I was almost ready to have a heart attack! What was I doing there, I thought to myself. Why am I punishing myself this way, I thought to myself. Okay, it was my turn and all eyes were trained on me. There were TV cameras there and two large flat panel viewing screens for all to see. As I sat down at the magnificent concert grand piano and began to play, my wonderful introduction completely escaped me. I messed up immediately with the introduction. I thought to myself, O-my-God, I can’t believe this is happening!

Once I fumbled around with the failed introduction I was back on course and things seemed to be going a little better. I was trying to smile and act like I knew what I was doing. I tried to focus on my task at hand and my song that I had practiced probably hundreds of times. As I proceeded with the performance, things were a little better and the song was coming together and sounding pretty good, as far as I could tell. I remember cameras flashing and I would glance up at the huge monitor and see myself sitting at the piano. I knew I had to follow through and make the best of the situation. I kept thinking about those musicians sitting right behind me and next to me. I thought about how they must think I’m the worst musician they have ever heard, and what was I doing there. I thought to myself, O-my-God, I have screwed up in front of all my colleagues, administrators, graduates, and their families. While I was performing, I was fantasizing that I was crawling inside of a dark whole somewhere so no one could see me and I was at peace, and not under the immense pressure I was under. I thought about how my dream come true had suddenly become a nightmare.

As the performance continued, parts of it were good, as I had rehearsed it many times. Then, as my thoughts wondered and I lost my focus again, I missed a beat in the measure. Maybe someone who was not familiar with the song or music wouldn’t notice. But, I’ll bet those professional musicians sitting beside me noticed.

Anyway, the closer to the end of the performance I got, the better it sounded. The ending was much better than the beginning and I got a big round of applause from the audience. When the president of the college got up to introduce the guest speaker, he had some flattering words to say about me and my musical ability. So, the performance was not a total disaster.

What did I learn from the experience? The art of recovery from a musical fumble during a performance is just as important as the art of a flawless performance. Do nerves and anxiety play a role in a musical performance? Absolutely!

Sorry for the long post, but after I reread it, it did seem like a good read!! smile

Rick
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

Top
#2027709 - 02/05/13 08:53 PM Re: stage fright , anyone? [Re: jian1zh]
Rich Galassini Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9398
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Rick,

It WAS a good read. For what it is worth, I rarely get nervous sitting at a piano, particularly when I am there to support another musician or singer as an accompanist. I just do what i can to make the soloist/ensemble sound as good as I can.

BUT as a soloist, particularly as a singer, I have had some tense moments. Part of it for me is the fact that, as a singer, you have nothing between you and the audience. In a way I feel more exposed than when I am sitting at a piano.

Converting a tense moment into a musical performance is the challenge. Sometimes I really mess up... and get it right! wink
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
www.cunninghampiano.com

Top
#2027718 - 02/05/13 09:04 PM Re: stage fright , anyone? [Re: Rich Galassini]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12215
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Rich Galassini
Rick,

It WAS a good read. For what it is worth, I rarely get nervous sitting at a piano, particularly when I am there to support another musician or singer as an accompanist. I just do what i can to make the soloist/ensemble sound as good as I can.

BUT as a soloist, particularly as a singer, I have had some tense moments. Part of it for me is the fact that, as a singer, you have nothing between you and the audience. In a way I feel more exposed than when I am sitting at a piano.

Converting a tense moment into a musical performance is the challenge. Sometimes I really mess up... and get it right! wink


Just the opposite for me, I find it much easier to get up and sing than to play piano. But I've worked through it and can do piano, it's just not my passion like performing singing is.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

Top
#2027785 - 02/06/13 12:31 AM Re: stage fright , anyone? [Re: jian1zh]
MrMagic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 371
Loc: Stettler AB Canada
I don't suffer so much from stage fright as I do from recording. I'm not a performer, but there's been a few times I just couldn't resist trying out a big grand sitting there, once in a restaurant, and once in a children's hospital. The hospital crowd gave me a nice applause. The diversion from all the grief & misery was probably what was appreciated.

The problem I have with recording is that I can play a piece fine, until I turn on the recorder!
_________________________
1928 Chas. M. Stieff 6'1" Grand. Major rebuild 2011
1920 Mason & Risch Upright (actually my mother's)
1971 Hammond R-100
Roland KR577
Roland VK-8M Tonewheel organ module
GigaStudio GS3 Ensemble (Bosendorfer & Estonia piano samples)
Roland E20, JV30 (retired)
An old concertina which I can't play

Top
#2027953 - 02/06/13 08:27 AM Re: stage fright , anyone? [Re: MrMagic]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12215
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: MrMagic
I don't suffer so much from stage fright as I do from recording. I'm not a performer, but there's been a few times I just couldn't resist trying out a big grand sitting there, once in a restaurant, and once in a children's hospital. The hospital crowd gave me a nice applause. The diversion from all the grief & misery was probably what was appreciated.

The problem I have with recording is that I can play a piece fine, until I turn on the recorder!


This has the same debilitating root cause as stage fright or performance anxiety: perfectionism. You want to play perfectly on the recording, for example, and because you cannot allow for any mistakes, you freeze up and do things you never do while practicing. You allow yourself be distracted by the idea that the recorder is going.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

Top

Moderator:  Ken Knapp, Piano World, Rickster 
What's Hot!!
Christmas Header
- > Gift Ideas for Music Lovers < -
From PianoSupplies.com a division of Piano World.
-------------------
The December Free Piano Newsletter
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(ad) Yamaha CP Music Rest Promo
Yamaha CP Music Rest Promo
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
(ad) Piano Music Sale - Dover Publications
Piano Music Sale
Sheet Music Plus (125)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Odd sound effect on old upright
by 661-Pete
12/20/14 06:38 AM
Define "atmospheric" in piano music
by Pianolism
12/20/14 06:18 AM
1 Hour 2-5-1 Jazz Workout Backing Track - Slow to Fast Swing
by Nahum
12/20/14 05:36 AM
Jools Holland wow
by Shey
12/20/14 05:23 AM
How to determine felt thickness without specifications?
by JoeThePro
12/20/14 01:09 AM
Forum Stats
77362 Members
42 Forums
160009 Topics
2349753 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
Gift Ideas for Music Lovers!
Find the Perfect Gift for the Music Lovers on your List!
Visit our online store today.

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
|
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission