How to Deal with Stage Fright

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Keep Calm and Carry On (Playing)

The day has arrived. The most important day of your musical career so far. Your first music recital. You start panicking, still not sure why you let your music teacher talk you into this. You begin to regret every decision that lead you to this moment. And wish your mother had not invited every living relative to attend…

Not to fear, Jellynote’s got your back.

We’ve compiled a list of helpful hints and tricks from professional musicians and music teachers. They made it through their first recital and so can you!


Know the material very well

It may sound like basic advice, but it’s absolutely crucial to know the piece very well. If you don’t have a strong grasp on what you’re playing, you won’t be able to convey the emotions behind it. So get practicing!


Before the performance

Mariángeles Di Paola, musician and teacher, advises that you don’t eat too much before the performance. She likes to go to a quiet room before her performance and get in the right headspace.

Some people recommend adopting a superman pose five minutes before your recital as it projects power and can make you perform better!


Remember that everyone experiences stage fright

Whether you’re a complete beginner or a concert pianist, you’re bound to be nervous. So do what you need to do to relax yourself. Have a cup of tea, try to regulate your breathing, whatever works for you!

Try to enjoy the performance

Remember the reason why you started playing in the first place – because you love music! Think of this as an opportunity to share your passion with other people!


Clear your head

Yuri Matsuura, concert pianist and composer, advises you to “take a deep breath. Try not to think anything. When you think, you can’t play.  You should feel.”

Don’t scare yourself with thoughts about what could go wrong! Think calming thoughts: Barack Obama, sloths, shirtless men, shirtless Barack Obama holding sloths, etc.

Obama’s not giving up and neither should you!

Lucky sloth believes in you!


Can’t shake your nerves? Use them!

“You can also try to harness that nervous energy, and channel it into both your preparation and performance. The results can be exhilarating!” says Jon Fellowes, a professional guitarist and music consultant based in the UK.

Remember: Performing isn’t like playing in the practice room. An audience gives you power. Use this power.

If you fail, try again!

Don’t let one bad performance shake you. Given the current political climate, no one will remember a bad performance! So thank your lucky stars for Donald Trump’s incompetent administration and the terrifying threat posed by global warming, and sign yourself up for another performance! This is how you learn and grow as a musician!

Break a leg!


If you’re not quite at performing standard yet, why not do some more practicing? You can access all of our sheet music at to get you started!

Feeling intimidated by the prospect of reading music? Check out our guides to reading sheet music here!


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