Most people feel nervous or awkward when they have to perform in front of others. When I say “performing,” I don’t just mean being able to play an instrument, sing, or act well; I mean doing so in front of an audience. The phrase “in front of people” always gets us. The majority of us probably have the ability to belt it out in the shower, but when an audience is present, we completely freeze up. In order to help you feel more at ease (but never fully so) while the spotlight is on you, here are three guidelines to follow.
In no uncertain terms, you must first practise regularly. Practice makes perfect, whether you’re a singer or a musician. If you know what you’re doing, you won’t worry as much about making mistakes.
You shouldn’t retreat at all. This information is frequently shared among students and teachers of the piano. Do not go back and rewrite the offending section if you make a mistake in the middle of your piece or anywhere else. Don’t stop now. It’s likely that no one in the audience even noticed.
Three, you shouldn’t be too hard on your technical competence. Pay closer attention to how well you’re doing overall. In what way does it sound as a whole? As a pianist, if you’re preoccupied with your fingerwork rather than the song itself, you’re missing the point. Focus on the details throughout practise to improve. That is to say, quite frequently.
Eventually, performing in front of an audience will become second nature. You will excel at it immediately. So use every opportunity to exhibit your stuff!