4 ‘Incredible’ Strategies To help Your Child Overcome ‘Butterflies’ When Performing

by | Jul 28, 2020 | Homeschool Piano, Online Piano, Unschooling Piano

So what do you do? You’ve taken my advice and planned for a performance, or your child has an opportunity present itself for her to showcase her musical prowess, but she’s absolutely terrified. 

Well, that’s not a surprise. 

Which of us have never had any anxiety when it comes to performing in public, or delivering a speech or doing something similar?

True, we may not feel those same ‘butterflies’ nowadays, but that could be a direct result of having performed in public many times. 

But, for a child who is doing it for the first time or even the fifth time, it can still be intimidating. 

While it is true that he will eventually get over it, there are several things that you can do to help ease his fear right now, and in this post I will cover the 4 most essential strategies. 


Practice, Practice, Practice

Yes, this goes without saying. 

Practice makes perfect. And the biggest fear of performing in public is that we will make a mistake and make a fool of ourselves. 

So the only way to overcome this fear, is by practicing and knowing that we have perfected the performance. 

This will not totally eliminate the fear of performing in public but it will reduce the fear to a great extent. 

Before I move on to the next strategy I need to reiterate here that the goal is NOT to practice until she can get it right, rather, to practice until she simply can’t get it wrong. 


Practice With Distractions

Yes, practicing is very important. 

But practicing in a quiet room with absolutely no distractions is useless. 

A public concert is most certainly going to have a variety of distractions and practicing with distraction will help prepare your child for anything that may happen. 

Have younger kids in the room, who can be rather disruptive, warn your child about it before hand and tell her that this is to help her overcome unexpected distractions that may happen at the recital. 

Having a cell phone ring, is another very common distraction that you should plan for and simulate.

Think of other likely distractions and try to simulate them once your child is quite confident with playing her pieces. 

The caveat here is to implement this strategy only once your child is very confident playing her pieces, because adding distractions when she is still trying to perfect her performance, can be very discouraging for her. 


Practice In Front Of  Large Audience

Depending on the recital type and size, this may or may not be possible. 

If possible do your best to simulate the audience (if it is a small number). 

With larger audiences, at least try to have your child practice at the concert venue. 

Doing this at least once will mentally prepare your child for the sheer size of the venue. 

Having her dress up for the rehearsal, too will go a long way to make it feel like the real thing and calm his nerves. 


Discuss Aspects Such As Negative Self Talk/Making A Mistake/Breathing

Assure your child that you are very proud of her irrespective of the outcome of the performance and that you are proud of all the hard work she’s put into the performance.

Next, discuss things like negative self talk and ask her if she is experiencing anything similar, give her different techniques on how to overcome it. 

Talk about breath control and how it can have a calming effect and teach her how to breathe slowly and deeply when she is feeling nervous. 

Also discuss what she should do in the event she makes a mistake or trips on her way across the floor. 

Tell her that these things have happened even to the best performers and what separates the best from the mediocre is that the best performers are able to pick themselves up off of the floor and move forward with their performance. 


When implementing the last strategy, don’t wait until the day before the performance or the day of, rather carefully broach these subjects a little at a time. 

Karen Cadera

Karen Cadera


Mom, Teacher, Minimalist, Zero Waste Enthusiast, Multi Pod.

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