|Originally published: May 26, 2020|
Reduce Performance Anxiety
Do you get anxious when facing a new singing situation? Do you feel nervous before a solo with your choir, a theatre audition or when you perform at a new venue? Voice Teacher Mark Baxter says anxiety usually hits when facing “unknowns.” Anxiety sure doesn’t feel great and it gets in the way of an authentic performance. How can singers reduce anxiety? Rituals!
Rituals are mundane, repetitive tasks like brushing our teeth or driving to work that allow our brain to take it easy. We can significantly reduce anxiety by creating rituals around a new singing situation.
Practice driving to the location on the day of the week and the time of day in advance. Do this once per week for a few weeks leading up to your appointment. Your friends may think you’re silly, but you know that you are creating a ritual to reduce your anxiety when the real day arrives.
Spend time in the location where you’ll be singing, and visualize yourself singing there. If possible, find a way to actually sing in that space. If it is a new venue such a cafe, that might not be possible, but spending time there as a customer will create familiarity to help you stay calm when you take the stage. Can you think of other rituals you can create for your next new singing situation? If you tend to get anxious as a singer, you’ll find that rituals and routines can be a powerful tool to help you stay calm and be your best.
Live Chat on Instagram
Simone Niles not only helps singers unlock their vocal technique, but she also guides their hearts and souls as artists to greater freedom and confidence. Check out this Insta-live chat with Simone from May 27, 2020.
Kathy Alexander is VP of Curriculum for Singdaptive. She was a staff writer for 6 years at VoiceCouncil Magazine and works for the University of Victoria as a practicum supervisor. Kathy is also a singer, vocal coach and choir director. Career highlights include guest appearances in Europe with Quannah Parker jazz fusion band in Norway, and back on the West Coast with Vision TV’s Let’s Sing Again, The Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra and the Victoria International Jazz Festival.