For making music, especially when we want to be on stage, we need self-confidence or self-esteem. Many people use self-affirmation techniques like the ones you can find at Affirmations websites to help them boost how they look at themselves. But even if we want to start learning an instrument (again), we have to be brave and go into unknown waters or leave our comfort zone.
How many times have I heard from friends or acquaintances: “It’s great that you dare to go on stage! I couldn’t do that! I’m way too excited and I don’t have the necessary self-confidence!” or also: “I’d love to start with an instrument, but I’m sure I’m stupid!”
That’s why I want to put the cart before the horse in this article. And to point out that making music not only requires self-confidence, but can also help you build it, expand your comfort zone, and ultimately achieve things you didn’t think were possible before.
Making music can give you self-confidence and make you more self-confident. And of course, you can transfer this self-confidence to other areas of your life.
How do you build your self-confidence by playing a musical instrument?
#1 Expand comfort zone and boost self-confidence
When we learn an instrument, new things are constantly waiting for us that do not play a role in other contexts. For example, we try to understand and implement a new rhythm or play together with others in an ensemble or a band.
These new tasks challenge us and force us to leave our comfort zone. If we take on these challenges regularly, we can grow from them and gain confidence in ourselves and our abilities.
Things that were outside this zone only a short time ago will soon no longer be perceived as so demanding. Bit by bit, we learn to cope with bigger and bigger things.
#2 Grow musically and gain self-confidence
Whether you’re just about to start playing an instrument, you’ve been doing it for a while, or it’s a part of your life. Basically, it’s always about growing or getting better at music.
For example, we start with light pieces of music and then develop step by step into heavier virtuoso works. Exactly the same goes for performances or concerts. Normally, we do not give our first concert in a large concert hall in front of many listeners, but play in a small, protected circle, at a class audition or a family celebration.
With the growing tasks, we gain more and more confidence in ourselves and our abilities as well as the self-confidence to master the next step.
#3 Self-confidence through “journaling”
Creatively looking for solutions and overcoming obstacles boosts our self-confidence. Often, however, we do not reflect on what we have already achieved. Rather, we think about what we still want to achieve or where we can improve.
Therefore, it can be very helpful to record your process in the form of notes. So you can read from time to time what you were working on a month ago and where you are today. This “journaling” allows you to visualize what challenges you have overcome and what goals you have achieved. By writing it down, you become much more aware of your development and you gain confidence for future tasks.
#4 Self-confidence through discipline
Working on something regularly can also go a long way toward self-confidence or confidence. At least I always feel great when I implement my plan and meet deadlines. And especially the days when my pig dog was particularly loud or when I was particularly exhausted and still practiced filled me with pride and give me self-confidence. It is therefore worthwhile to establish an over-routine for this reason.
#5 More self-confidence by playing concerts
Perhaps by far, the biggest challenge in making music for many is the appearance that goes on stage or the concerts or competitions played.
Because the moment we want to present our results, we are confronted with our expectations and demands. Most of the time we want everything to be “perfect”, put ourselves under a lot of pressure, and do not feel able to call up our performance due to stage fright.
Please also read my two blog articles. These show you tips and tricks for stage fright during the preparation for concerts and on the concert/exam day.
But isn’t it almost always the case that after a concert you are very happy, proud and grateful that you have taken up this challenge?
And that’s allowed to be. Because with every performance you grow a bit and expand your comfort zone by a few centimeters. You pursued a goal and implemented it. And I mean deliberately “implemented” here, because it does not always have to be about delivering something perfectly, but about taking the step at all. In doing so, we also gain self-confidence.
ALSO READ: How to Write Musical Notes Using a Keyboard?
Tips for “hobby musicians” and “professionals”
For those of you who see making music as your hobby, you may be interested in the idea that you can transfer the self-confidence you have gained through making music to other areas of your life. A classic example would be a lecture at university or at work.
For those who consider music to be their job or are currently studying, the following may be worthwhile. If you have the feeling that you do not have so much self-confidence in making music at the moment, it can help to look for another activity with which you can rebuild this self-confidence.
Because in another activity you are free from perfectionism and your extreme expectations and approach the matter with more ease.
My “side job” to this day is running, where I gain self-confidence and shift my comfort zone. For example, a few years ago I could not have imagined running a half marathon. Actually, I encountered my mental blockage already at 10 km. Over time, however, I fought my way up to the 21 km and gained confidence that I could master this length.
Today I don’t really worry about whether I’m able to run the 21km. It depends more on how trained I am right now, and whether I can run the course. I also gained the confidence to run a marathon one day. And since I’ve already done the “half”, I have no doubt that I can do the whole thing with enough training.
In addition, I am absolutely convinced that this confidence has also had an effect on my self-confidence while playing.
No matter from which side you come: Whether you need more self-confidence for your music making or whether you want to work on your self-confidence to find confidence in other areas in your life. Playing an instrument can be the key for you here!
Making music is a wonderful way to generate self-confidence and thus better deal with new challenges. Something that may have been unimaginable to you at an earlier point in time is moving into the realm of possibility over time.
I wish you much success in all your next challenges and that your self-confidence can grow through music!