Public speaking is among the top phobias for a lot of people. But singing in public is probably way scarier for most folks! How do singing teachers help our clients to address the very real challenge of stage fright? After all, for most of us, performance is an important part of a holistic voice education.
This month I'm hosting Pedagogy Happy Hour on Thursday, October 28th at 7:00 p.m. Central time. During this one-hour webinar I'll be joined by my colleague Rebecca Yarnold, MM, who did her master's research on performance anxiety in children. She'll talk to us about her research and give us evidence-based strategies for helping our clients face their fear of singing in public.
You see, while many teachers have a lot of anecdotal tips and tricks for dealing with stage fright, there's actually very little research on the topic, and even less focused on children's stage fright. Rebecca is a leader in this area, and her expertise can help us to build up our toolboxes. This is practical research that can make a difference for your and your clients!
While her research was focused on children, teachers who work with adults will also find great benefit in learning from Rebecca. After all, many adults who have fear or shame associated with their singing voices find that it all started with something said to them when they were children. The passage of time often isn't enough to erase those deep wounds inflicted decades earlier.
One of the mistakes I made as a young teacher was not taking enough time early on to start addressing performance anxiety in my clients. And then when we got close to a recital, I'd try to address it in the two or three lessons before when they started to look nervous about performing. What I didn't realize then was that addressing stage fright really needs to be a regular part of voice lessons, starting almost at the beginning, and then consistently included as a part of my lesson plans. It doesn't have to be a big deal every time I bring it up in lessons, but by talking about it and offering my clients help sooner rather than later, they have the time to really plant those strategies and affirmations deep into their hearts and minds. The truth is that we may be working against years of negative thoughts or memories that are hard to erase in just a handful of conversations. And our clients may even be embarrassed to bring it up if they feel any shame at all around their singing. We can be proactive!
Since many of us are planning holiday recitals, caroling, or other performance events, now is a great time to build up our strategies and tools for addressing performance anxiety. I hope you'll join me and Rebecca on Thursday, October 28th at 7:00 p.m. Central time. If you can't make it live, your registration includes a link to the recording that will be available until the end of the year. Seats are limited, so I encourage you to register soon. Save your spot by clicking the button below. Singing in public can be spooky, but we can be less haunted with good preparation!