Evaluating Your Singing Performance
Progress happens because of each step you take. After every singing performance, look at how you did and how you felt. Because everything in your life affects your singing, decide what steps worked well for you and modify the ones that didn’t.
Looking at preparation and performance issues
Check the technical aspects of your performance to discover what you can improve upon. Look at what did and didn’t work well, and make adjustments for next time. Ask these questions after your performance:
Did you rehearse enough with the accompanist?
Did you work the song enough from memory?
What did you do well during the performance?
Did you get enough sleep the night before or in the days before the performance?
Was your warm-up long enough, high enough, and early or late enough in the day?
Were you focused on the moment (or on the audience’s reaction to your singing)?
Did the steps in your pre-performance routine work well?
Did you leave enough time for dressing?
Did you take time to visualize the performance in your mind?
Be fair when charting your progress. Seeing gradual improvement in your quest to manage adrenaline and fear is important. Several months may pass before you feel comfortable singing in public, so give yourself some time. After each performance, list what you did well. When you accomplish more than what’s on your list, recognizing that accomplishment is important. Taking consistent steps toward your goal is the key.
Be brave. Take a risk. You won’t know until you dare to try.
Checking your anxieties
To ease your anxiety, answer the following questions to help you remember how you felt.
How did you feel right before the performance? If this performance is the first one you’re evaluating, the answer to this question may be, I felt unprepared, terrified, or nauseous. Recognizing these symptoms may help you realize that they aren’t debilitating and may ease up over time.
What were your symptoms of anxiety, if any? The symptoms may include sweating, a racing heart, and the urge to run away. By tracking the symptom, you can see that it lessens with each performance or that you just make the choice not to run away, because you enjoy the performance after you get to the stage.
What was your level of anxiety at the beginning of the performance? In the middle of the performance? At the end of the performance? After the performance? Many singers say their anxiety is worse just before the performance but that it goes away as they begin singing.
If the anxiety hits in the middle of the performance, you were probably anticipating the high note and worrying about how to sing it. Continuing to work on your technique allows you to gain more confidence in your technique, to alleviate the stress over that part of your voice. Stress after the performance may mean that you’re worried about what people may say to you after the performance.