Managing Performance Anxiety: Strategies for Families of Young Singers
As our concert day approaches, it's natural for our young singers to experience some nervousness. This guide offers practical strategies to help your child manage performance anxiety and enjoy their musical experience.

Understanding Concert Day Jitters

Feeling nervous before a performance is completely normal, even for experienced singers. Encourage your child to talk about their feelings, even if you don't think they are particularly nervous. A simple "How are you feeling about the concert?" can open up a helpful conversation that informs you about where your child is at emotionally/mentally.

Creating a Comforting Pre-Concert Routine

Help your child develop a pre-concert routine that promotes calm and confidence:
  • Practice slow deep belly breathing exercises together
  • Do some gentle stretches (like we do during our warm ups!)
  • Listen to favorite music in the car on the way -- have them pick these out in advance!
  • Use positive affirmations -- "I can sing confidently!" or "I am capable and ready to sing." are two good ones to start with.
Having a familiar routine can provide a sense of control and comfort before the performance.

Visualizing Success

Guide your child in imagining a successful performance. Encourage them to picture themselves singing confidently and enjoying the music. This mental rehearsal can significantly boost self-assurance.

Focusing on Progress

Remind your child that every practice session makes them better. Celebrate small improvements and milestones, specifically if memorizing lyrics or parts of the music are tricky for them. It's not about being perfect – it's about continual improvement, doing their best, and enjoying the music.

Home Rehearsals

Consider having a mini-concert at home. Invite family members, neighbors, or friends to be the audience. This low-pressure performance can build confidence and provide valuable experience.

Staying Present During the Concert

On the big day, remind your child to focus on the joy of singing. Encourage them to listen to their fellow choir members and feel the music in their body. Being present in the moment can help reduce anxiety.

Importantly, remind your child to keep their knees slightly bent while standing. Locking the knees can restrict blood flow and potentially cause dizziness or fainting. A gentle bend in the knees with one foot a little in front of the other promotes better circulation, improves posture, and helps maintain focus throughout the performance. This small physical adjustment can make a big difference in their comfort and concentration on stage.

The Power of Family Support

Your encouragement is crucial. Before the concert, express how proud you are of their hard work and diligence, regardless of the outcome. Your support provides a foundation of confidence for your young singer. Letting them know where you will be sitting ahead of time can also help them focus so they aren't spending mental energy trying to find you when they first walk up onstage.

Taking Care of Physical Well-being

Ensure your child gets enough sleep, eats well, and stays hydrated (especially 8ish hours before the concert) on concert day. Avoid dairy right before the concert. Physical well-being significantly impacts performance and can help manage nerves.

Embracing the Experience

Remind your child that the goal is to enjoy making music with their ensemble members and share all of their hard work with the audience. It's an opportunity to show their passion, glorify God, and have a little fun too.

Seeking Additional Support

If your child is feeling particularly overwhelmed, don't hesitate to reach out to me. Sometimes a conversation with their choir director can provide reassurance and perspective. By maintaining a positive and supportive atmosphere, we can help our young singers transform their nervousness into excitement (after all, they are two sides to the same coin!). Remember, every performance is a chance to grow and learn. I'm looking forward to seeing all our talented singers shine at the concert. Your support and these strategies will help make it a memorable and enjoyable experience for everyone!


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