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Stage fright can be described as a feeling of anxiety, fear and tension that occurs in musicians before performing on stage. This is a common phenomenon that affects both beginner artists and experienced professionals. Stage fright can be compared to a butterfly in the stomach, which can ruin even the best-prepared performance.
One of the most famous cases of stage fright was the one that affected the legendary actor Laurence Olivier. Despite his enormous talent and experience, Olivier had trouble controlling his stage fright before each performance. His famous words about this phenomenon are: “Fright fright can be compared to a horse that has to be ridden, not to a lion that has to be handled.”

Like Olivier, many artists struggle with stage fright, which can be very bothersome and negatively affect their performances. However, there are also methods to deal with this problem. One of them is proper preparation for the performance through regular rehearsals and training. As the famous pianist Vladimir Horowitz said: “You can overcome stage fright through hard work and commitment to what you do.”

Another way to deal with stage fright is breathing and relaxation techniques. By breathing deeply and focusing on the present, you can reduce tension and stress before a performance. As the famous actor Hugh Jackman said: “When I feel nervous, I try to concentrate on my breathing and allow myself to relax for a moment.”

It is also worth remembering that stage fright can be treated as a natural reaction of the body to a stressful situation. As psychologist Abraham Maslow said: “Frightening can be seen as a signal that something important is happening and that it is worth investing your emotions and energy into it.”

The conclusion from the above considerations is that stage fright can be overcome through appropriate preparation, relaxation techniques and a positive approach to the situation. As the famous director Steven Spielberg said: “Fear can be turned into motivation and strength that drives us to act and improve.” Therefore, it is worth approaching this phenomenon with openness and determination to be able to enjoy your performances on stage without unnecessary stress and worries.
However, there are many ways to deal with stage fright that help musicians overcome their fears and perform at the highest level.

Here are 10 effective ways to deal with stage fright:
1. Preparing for a performance: The better prepared you are for a concert, the less likely you are to experience stage fright. Practicing, learning musical parts and knowing the repertoire will make you more confident on stage.
2. Deep breathing: Focusing on your breathing can help reduce tension and stress. Deep breathing before a performance will help calm your nerves and improve your concentration.
3. Visualize success: Imagining a successful performance can help reduce stage fright. Visualization allows the musician to see that he can play great and gain self-confidence.
4. Warm up before a performance: Performing a physical and vocal warm-up before a performance can help relax your muscles and prepare your body for action.
5. Positive thinking: Instead of focusing on negative thoughts and fears, it is worth focusing on the positive aspects of your performance. Keep telling yourself that you are ready and can play great.
6. Talk to other musicians: Sharing your concerns with other musicians can help take the burden off your shoulders. Talking together can also provide valuable tips and support.
7. Avoiding Caffeine and Alcohol: Consuming caffeine and alcohol before a performance can increase tension and worsen stage fright. It is recommended to avoid these substances before a concert.
8. Focus on the music: Focusing on the music and the emotions you want to convey to the audience can help distract you from your own fears and help you relax on stage.
9. Remembering that everyone has stage fright: Even the greatest artists experience stage fright. It is important to remember that this is a normal feeling and can be overcome.
10. Positive experiences: Gathering positive experiences from performing can help build self-confidence and reduce stage fright. The more concerts you play without problems, the easier it will be to deal with stage fright.

Stage fright can be compared to an unwanted guest who appears unexpectedly before an important event. However, with the right techniques and approach, you can beat him and play at the highest level. I recommend that musicians struggling with stage fright use the above 10 ways to deal with this phenomenon. Remember that everyone has stage fright, but it’s up to you how you deal with it.

We will work on stage fright and many other aspects of the horn art during the French Horn Master Course at the Academy of Music in Łódź on July 7-12, 2024.

Don’t hesitate and register now!!
#WKM2024 is a great opportunity to improve your skills and meet new people with a passion for music and the horn. To sign up for the course, simply visit the MikulskiART Foundation website, where you can find the registration form and more information about the event.

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