Most performers deal with stage fright, at least to a certain degree. What’s the best way to combat it? Besides making sure you have practiced thoroughly, there are several things that I have found effective:
1. Positive thoughts/visuals- leading up to performance, actually visualize yourself playing well and without anxiety. Speaking your positivity out loud is also beneficial and is physically relaxing.
2. Breathe- being conscious of my deep breaths (both prior to and during playing)
3. Think about the music- it sounds simple, but it’s surprisingly easy to perform and NOT think about the music. Thinking about what you are trying to convey, how you are shaping each phrase, etc. helps. Provided you’ve prepared well, you want to think of larger ideas and avoid analyzing every note as it goes by.
4. Share the music with your audience- you are there to share this beautiful art with the audience, not worry about what they will think of you if you miss a note. Keep the big picture in mind.
Hope this helps!