I can sing but my voice trembles and I also am nervous in public; please help!
The best antidote to nerves is to breathe fully at the level of the lowest ribs and to work very hard to keep those ribs open the entire time you are singing. The ribs will expand when you inhale and working to keep them expanded the whole time you sing is the key effort that will slow your respiration and heart rate. It will ground you in your body and make it easier to steady your tone. Open performances with a song that you can sing strongly, with a clear, fairly loud voice. It can also help to use a song that moves quickly or has coloratura passages as the trembling will not be as noticeable. Do not try to stop the trembling by gripping or holding back — this just makes matters worse. Instead, just sing out and let your nerves move through you as part of the sound. If you accept them and take advantage of the energy they provide, you will start to feel at home by the second or third song and the rest of your performance will be a joy. Also, work mentally and in therapy to uncover the beliefs and fears you have that create the anxiety in the first place. Feeling afraid is really wanting people to like and approve of us and that is not the audience’s job. They can think and feel whatever they want. We all have different tastes: some of us like chocolate while others prefer strawberry. Some will prefer our singing and others will not. We have no control over what people like. Our job is to be so spilling-over full of all that we have to share through our singing that we just can’t keep it to ourselves. That’s what moves us to share with others through performance and it is what magnetizes the audience. Finally, the only way to work through nerves is to keep putting ourselves in situations that make us nervous. Take classes and seminars that focus on performance anxiety and read books that offer solutions. Many experts support their students to overcome this issue and there are a lot of GREAT suggestions out there.