Performing before an audience is often a stressful situation for a students. Practicing the performance in the mind with a positive outcome will ease this stressful situation.
For performers some nervousness is an occupational hazard – it’s just part of the job and to a certain extent it’s a case of “if you don’t like the heat get out of the kitchen.” For an exciting performance some nervousness is beneficial if it is transformed into energy and excitement, but if it gets out of control it can totally sabotage a performance no matter how talented or well-prepared the singer is. Conditioning the mind and nervous system is a very important job for any performer (and not just musicians and singers).
Performers need to understand the two systems within the autonomic nervous system of the body – the sympathetic nervous system (the fear, fight or flight mechanism for survival) and the parasympathetic nervous system (the relaxation response). Both are appropriate in different situations but the trouble with the modern Western lifestyle is that many of us get stuck…
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