8 Tips for Conquering the Music Recital Butterflies!

I know that some students THRIVE on playing for the public, but there are also some who LOATH playing for an audience.

While I have participated in countless recitals and university juries over my lifetime and have had to deal with my own nerves, I’ve also been able to watch my own students and children learn how to handle nervousness due to an upcoming recital.

Here are some tips you can use to help combat those (not-always-bad) butterflies that emerge before a recital:

1)  Play for as many people and audiences as you can before the recital. The more often your child has the opportunity to perform for others, the more settled they become!

boy in a dark grey shirt and red pants sitting on a piano bench with his hands on the keys of a baby grand piano


2)  Visit the venue beforehand to familiarize yourself with the environment your child will be playing in. Most local churches or community halls will allow a child to take a peek inside the auditorium. Have them practice walking on and off stage and marking out which seat they’d like to sit in during the performance. It is also a good idea to take note of where the restrooms are ahead of time.

3)  Many kids experience either cold hand or warm hand syndrome while anticipating a recital. For those that get cold hands, wear mittens on the way to your performance to keep your hands warm. For those that get cold and clammy hands, remember to wear something cool as not to get overheated.

4)  By now, the child’s music is likely memorized, but often it helps to bring along their music books just in case they need to take a look at a specific section of their piece of music.

5)  Have a snack 30 minutes before the recital to ease stress, blood sugar levels and to help settle the tummy.

four siblings sitting at a table eating popcorn from a large stainless steel bowl


6)  If you can, have the child practice on a few different instruments (if playing the piano!). Playing on different pianos can make the student more adaptable to the feel, touch and sensitivity of the instrument. You never quite know what the piano in the recital hall will be like!

7)  Plan a celebration at the end! Ice cream or an outing of choice by the performer is a great way to celebrate a student’s success as a family.

8)  BREATHE! So often we forget to take deep calming breaths as we sit waiting for our turn to perform. Remind your child they have a gift for music, they are doing a fabulous job working hard on their instrument, and lastly, to have FUN!

I hope these are helpful for your next upcoming recital!!

Tell me, what would you add to this list? Leave a comment on this post!

Leave a comment