Performing music has its own rewards. It’s fun to play, especially when you’re performing with musicians you really like. It feels good to communicate something of value to your audience. It’s a thrill to be in front of a crowd of people who are there to see you play. And, it’s wonderful to have the experience of creating music rather than just listening to it.
The process of preparing for public performances can be rewarding also. Getting ready to perform means setting goals, acquiring new skills, and learning new material. It takes self-discipline, self-motivation, patience, desire, and focus to succeed.
This list of traits, and the experience of being in front of audiences on a regular basis, gives musicians a big advantage over non-performers when it comes to something that most people fear: public speaking.
On the website webmd.com, Paul L. Witt, PhD, assistant professor of communication studies at Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, is quoted as saying, “The idea of making a presentation in public is the No. 1 fear reported by people in the U.S.”
“Making a presentation in public” doesn’t seem any different than performing music to me. For musicians, it’s normal to walk on stage, stand under hot lights, have people stare at you, and talk to the audience between songs. If you can do that, public speaking should be easy.
Performing gives musicians confidence when standing in front of an audience. They build a certain poise, which is really the ability to be yourself and feel relaxed even when standing in front of a crowd.
Most musicians don’t make their living performing. So, it’s important that skills learned being a musician can be helpful in other areas of life. Being able to speak in public is one of these valuable skills.
It goes beyond speaking to an audience. Public speaking also means being able to think clearly and speak openly during meetings and negotiations. Though many performers don’t think about it, their time on stage actually prepares them for dealing with the stress many people feel when they’re called upon to speak.
Feeling comfortable with public speaking is one of the many hidden benefits of performing music. When we play our instruments, we’re doing a lot more for ourselves than just creating music. We turn ourselves into confident, poised professionals who can excel in every area of life.