Performance anxiety? Speaking in public is more feared than death, so it’s not a surprise that performance anxiety is not uncommon when people are performing music in public. There are some, like Chase in a previous newsletter, that have no fear playing in public… no stage fright at all!
I believe everyone can experience ‘no fear’ performing, especially if it’s playing worship music! Here are some specific tips to conquer performance anxiety or stage fright.
Tips On Overcoming Performance Anxiety
- Practice your music. It’s easier to play in front of people when you are prepared. When you practice, always pray first. God can help you learn the instrument quicker and it’s much more fun to be focused on Him in anything we do!
- Choose songs that are easy. Pick the songs that you play the best. If there is a song that you have trouble playing at home, you will also have problems playing it in public. Choose songs that you are very comfortable playing.
- Don’t stop or make a face when you make a mistake. That only amplifies the mistake. Most people don’t even notice if you’ve played a wrong chord, unless you show it in your facial expressions. One of the reasons people have performance anxiety is the fear of making mistakes. Mistakes are OK… just keep playing.
- Smile and enjoy the people. When you start and end a song, it’s always nice to connect with the audience. Just eye contact and a smile is enough.
- Know that you are wonderfully and fearfully made! Often people are thinking about what others will think of them or that they are not good enough. You never need to worry about what others think of you because the God who made you has already made you unique in all the universe. There is no one else in the universe with your specific gifts and talents!
For specifically playing and leading worship, remember the focus is not on you at all, but it’s all about worshipping and focusing on our Amazing God. I would add one more step before playing the music. That would be another prayer asking God to help you and everyone there to truly worship and focus on Him.
Also, play for others often. There is an old saying “Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain.” Jesus often told His disciple to ‘Fear not.” As a Christian, the power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you and you can certainly do all things in Him! Amen!