It’s an all-too-familiar feeling. You’ve been practicing for weeks, maybe even months. You know you’re ready. Your teacher knows you’re ready. You feel ready. You step on stage and…suddenly you panic. You find yourself shaking. Your palms are sweaty. Everything you’ve learned seems to have left your head. You’re frozen. You finally shake it off enough to perform, but you don’t remember anything about the performance. You take a small bow and quickly exit the stage. Then you crash. What just happened? Stage fright. Stage fright is one of the most common obstacles that musicians face, and one of the most frustrating. When you experience it, you probably beat yourself up about it after your performance is done. We here at Music Lab are here to say: DON’T! It’s okay to be scared. The fear you feel when you step on stage is a totally normal part of being a performer. In fact, if you didn’t experience a little bit of stage fright every now and then, we’d be a bit concerned. Performing in front of an audience is a high-stress situation, no matter how prepared you are, and your body naturally reacts accordingly. Not to mention performing in front of your teacher is a totally different experience than performing in any other setting. You spend so much time with your teacher, and you know they’re there to help and guide without judgment. Performing in front of an audience? Who knows what they’re thinking, and it’s easy to let yourself speculate when you’re onstage. The most important thing to know about stage fright is this: the more you perform despite your fear, the more comfortable you’ll start to become onstage. Overcoming stage fright over time will help you in all areas of your life, trust us. But don’t be too hard on yourself if it takes a while to get there. It’s okay to be on your journey, taking your own time to get to the desired destination. And remember: it’s okay to be scared.