Do You Get Nervous and Scared when Performing? I Do!

by | Apr 1, 2014 | Play Comfortably | 5 comments

Many musicians get nervous and scared when performing, including me.

Sylviane writes:

Hello Zlata,

I can’t wait to see the pictures and movie of your recital with your piano accompanist. It must be great!
Is it true that you also get nervous and scared? But you are so good, you should not have the feeling?
I am in the contrary always have that feeling. I sometimes perform accompanying my daughter either on piano or on violin. I always have trembling and sweaty hands, my heart would beat so fast that it might pop out. No matter how hard I practice and tell myself it’s giong to be okay, the moment I step on the stage with her, those scary feelings come back.

I am glad you overcome your fear and it turned out great!

Even after years of experience, I still get that nervous feeling when performing. My stage fright has even given me panick attacks. I didn’t lose that fear and I am terrified from time to time, certainly when performing solo. However, over the years I have gained some insights that have helped me.

Tip 1. Feel the fear and do it anyway


Instead of telling myself it is going to be okay, I have learned that it helps me better when I just acknowledge the fear, but do it anyway. Your feelings will come back and the harder you push them away, the harder they push back. You can learn how to perform despite of your fear. You can learn how to play with sweaty hands, you can learn how to play when your heart is racing. But to become better at that, you have to practice. It is possible!


Tip 2. Don’t compare yourself to the best one playing

The strange thing is, in music we always look to the one who is absolutely the best. All the others feel like they are not good enough. But everyone experiences fear and challenges on their own level. Every player is nervous, even André Rieu once admitted in an interview that he still gets nervous to perform. So don’t feel like you are the only one to experience nervousness when going on stage.

So, acknowledge you are afraid, by this your fear will disappear. It is also a matter of practice to play with fear. But remember: it is a natural reaction, everybody gets nervous!

Is this video useful to you? Please let me know in the comments!


PS: Do you want to see YOUR question answered in a Violin Lounge TV episode? Post a comment below!


  1. Petra

    You should really try EFT
    It will help you a lot, I promise.

    Look it up on the internet en even YouTube.

    Good luck!!


    • Violinist Zlata

      Thanks for the tip! I will certainly look into it!

  2. Sylviane

    Beste Zlata,
    Tiena Lyn and I watched your video and would like to thank you for your useful tips. Our next performance is coming this weekend, where we will be playing a couple of Swedish fiddle tunes. Tiena Lyn and her friend will be 1st and 2nd violin, I will be on 3rd. We will send you the youtube link, and hopefully my sweaty hands do better this time.
    We are also preparing some duest for an exam and a recital in June.
    Have a marvelous week, Zlata!
    Tiena Lyn and Sylviane

  3. Thisbe

    Even you, Zlata, are aquainted with this topic. Sorry for you but good for us ;-)! The sweaty hands, exploding heart, dizzy head… all symptoms I do recognise. If you are standing there on stage, infront of an audience with your violin, you feel so vulnarable. I try to breathe slowly, pushing my belly in and out. Once a friend adviced me to imagine your whole audience is naked. Haha, you don’t have to do that but it makes sense: we are all humans, making mistakes, feel insecure from time to time. And no one in the audience is focussing on your mistakes but on the notes you play well and in general everyone is very friendly, except if they payed a lot of money to hear you, of course… 🙂


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