I recently heard an interview with the top tennis player Roger Federer, who nearly always looks really confident during a match, even if he’s made mistakes. When asked why he continues to play although he’s pretty much won everything there is to win. He replied that he plays for the love of playing. That’s not to say he doesn’t take any notice of his mistakes – he just does not let them get in the way of his performance at the time.
We as singers could take a leaf out of his book, and not worry so much about singing perfectly, but remember why we are singing. If we go into a performance thinking about how much we love singing rather than worrying about whether people will like us, we are more likely to perform well. It sounds counter-intuitive, but you can probably think of examples from your own life where you felt like the harder you tried the further away your desired results seemed.
In singing, as in life, you will never get everyone to like you. So going into a performance with this goal is not the best approach. As a voice teacher, I believe having a good technical foundation is important for confident performing, but I also believe that concentrating on technique and getting everything ‘right’ can lead to a dip in confidence, and may also lose your audience. It’s a fine balance – the ideal is to get to the point where you are technically competent so that you don’t have to worry about it, and are able to enjoy expressing yourself!
Let me know your thoughts by posting a comment here!