Performance Anxiety and How to Overcome it! Accomplish that Goal. (Part 3 of 5)
Approach Mind Over Matter Then Approach the Physical Hurdle
Listen to the accompaniment and look at your music and imagine yourself singing it perfectly in your mind. Think through the whole piece. When you practice and rehearse music in your imagination without actually singing, you establish neural pathways (brain functions) required to firmly embed something in your mind. This helps with wear and tear on your vocal folds if you are intense rehearsals or if you are sick. You can choose to do it perfectly in your imagination and it gives you a sense of ease and relaxation.
Imagine performing your piece without actually singing. Use the power of imagination to solve technical, vocal, and artistic problems. The right side of your brain controls the images and the left side of the brain utilizes the instruction. Try to let the images take over. Visualization just like the calm of yoga can take you a lot further.
Now, actually sing it. Did it make a difference? It should. Why?
It is a scientific fact that your nervous system cannot tell the difference between real and imagined events. If you feel anxious about a section of your song and you imagine the sound you want to hear while the accompaniment is playing a few times and then sing it, the tension drops and the sound is more free and relaxed. "A pathway opens to discover talents you already posses." says Matthew Stansfield.
Students of "The Think Method" learn that the ability to grow lies within themselves and their own imagination if they take the time to use it creatively," states David Aks. What a wonderful thought that we have the power to control our success if we use our brains and route ourselves in solid, founded technique! With guidance from a voice teacher, you can overcome these troubles.
This is not a substitute for physical practice because you must build muscles and muscle memory to build solid technique, but if you have solid technique and you still have trouble, try visualization. We may be standing in our own way by thinking too much (especially about our nerves!).
Comments from http://www.classicalsinger.com/magazine/article.php?id=2287
How can you "think" your way out of musical performance anxiety?