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Handling Nerves Before a Vocal Performance

Mandy Bryant and Simone Niles share their best tips on handling nerves before a performance.

Mandy Bryant

Voice Teacher | Choir Director

Simone Niles

Vocalist | Transformational Coach

We asked Singdaptive instructors for some tips on what to do to handle nerves before a performance! Today, we hear from Singdaptive instructor and transformational vocal coach, Simone Niles, and voice teacher and choir director, Mandy Bryant, on how to handle nerves and get psyched before a performance!

Mandy Bryant on Getting Psyched Up for Your Performance

Tips from the Team Transcript: How can you get psyched up for your performance? I love this question because so often we really get in our own heads, and anxiety and stress can get inside our heads and actually sometimes make performances not enjoyable. Oftentimes singers and performers have this feeling of dread before they go on stage, which is not really what we want. This is our passion. Even though we love doing it, we can still get lost in our own heads. So, how can we get excited about it instead? Well, first tip I would give is preparation. Make sure you are prepared and you know what you’re doing when you go on that stage. Make sure you have no doubt that you know the words, you know the melody, you know your cues, you know what the band’s going to do – all those things are very important. And then you can focus a little bit more on excitement.

Also, really try your best to engage with your audience. Think about what your audience is doing, think about who they are, and think about how you can interact with them, and why you’re there to interact with them. Oftentimes, an audience can give us energy that we can’t provide for ourselves. So, I would really draw upon that energy. Not only that, but draw on the energy of the people around you too. Whether you’re in a musical theater group or you have a band behind you, or an entire chorus full of people, draw on their energy too. Just enjoy your time up there. Remember to go back to why you wanted to perform, why you stepped foot on that stage, and who is it that you’re wanting to please – is it yourself? your audience? the people around you? It’s absolutely an invigorating experience if you’re prepared to let it be that.

How Can I Get Psyched Up For My Performance

Simone Niles on Handling Nerves Before a Performance

Tips from The Team Transcript: Handling nerves before a performance isn’t always easy, but here are my two tips. The first is to really bring your breathing down to a slow pace, so it’s nice and relaxed as much as you can. What happens when we slow down the breathing and take deep breaths, is that you relax and balance your nervous system, which is all haywire when you’re feeling really nervous.

The second tip is to think of your nerves like this: imagine that they’ve got your back. They’re your cheerleaders who are so excited to see you perform well, but they’ve just gone a bit haywire doing back flips and doing some really interesting movements. But all the while, having your back and wanting you to do your best. Your nerves are therefore, actually your friends. Your nerves are there because they care about your performance. They care about how you perform. Just tell them, “Thank you for your attention. Thank you for your feedback, but I’ve got this.”

How Do You Handle Singing Performance Nerves?

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Singdaptive Team

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The Singdaptive Team feature a collection of contributions of thoughts from Singdaptive founders, instructors and currated vocal experts.