Singing in Front of an Audience: How to Beat the Jitters & Give a Great Performance

Singing in front of an audience is an amazing experience But putting yourself “out there” for the world to hear can be nerve wracking for vocalists.  Your voice is unique to you.  Unlike piano, guitar, or any other instrument, the voice is more personal, (since you ARE your instrument),  and can leave singers feeling insecure and worried about others’ negative perceptions of their voice and who they are as a singer.

There are several ways you can beat the jitters and give a great performance:

  • Preparation- The more you practice everything from word memorization, to breath marks and phrasing, the more comfortable you will be up on stage. Ideally, you KNOW this song like the back of your hand!  With conscientious preparation and attention to detail, the song becomes part of your muscle memory, where you are not consciously thinking of each breath and word, yet it comes naturally.
  • Practice movement in front the mirror- Standing stiff as a board on stage is not very exciting for the audience.  If you watch live videos of your favorite singers, you can see how they move over the course of a song.  Some movements might be dramatic gestures and others might be subtle, but meaningful.  In any scenario, movements must look genuine and fit into the feeling and style of the song, which brings us to…
  • Style and Interpretation- Learn the background of your song.  Whether it is musical theatre, pop, jazz or classical, every song has a feeling and emotion behind it.  If you are singing musical theatre, find out which character sings the song, what their mindset is, and who are they singing the song to.

Finally, the more you perform, the more comfortable you will be on stage.  Try your hand at local open mic nights, nursing homes, recitals, and competitions. All of these experiences will give you more opportunities to refine your stage technique, build confidence and beat the jitters!

Jay Latulippe

Jay Latulippe

Jay is the program director at Let’s Play Music and make Art, LLC. He holds a degree in Music performance from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. He has authored over a dozen books including the popular piano series, Let’s Play Jazz and More! published by Santorella Publications.

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