A Hidden Goal of Studying Music – CONFIDENCE

Often a hidden goal of studying music is confidence.  It’s hidden because it is often assumed that it will just happen when we’re thrown up on stage.  While some people might rise to the occasion and be okay with this trial-by-fire method, I think as music educators, we can do a bit more to help our students feel confident with their instrument.  Confidence is defined as feeling sure of oneself and one’s abilities – not in an arrogant way, but in a realistic, secure way.  A belief and a conviction that one has the ability to meet a specific challenge.

I’ve been thinking a lot about confidence recently.   I’ve been noticing that a desire to be more confident in their singing or playing has been a common desire of all my students.  The specific motivations for wanting to achieve a higher level of confidence may vary slightly.  But the goal to be more confident performing their instrument in front of others is shared by all.

This is making me take a hard look at how I can better serve my students in their pursuit of being more confident in their performances.

What things can we do to increase confidence in our ability?

Gain knowledge

The more we know about something, the more confident we will be displaying our knowledge to others.  The knowledge needed for confidence in performing music includes things like:

  • how to read music
  • how to make the desired sounds on your instrument
    1. how to coordinate all the muscles involved with making your voice sound the way you want
    2. what fingering, hand positions, playing techniques, etc. are needed to get the desired sound from the instrument
  • knowing common practices in the how to play or sing the music we are learning to read; knowing what the original composers/artists intended when they wrote the piece
  • understanding what the song communicates and how you will get the message across to your audience


As we gather knowledge, we need to use that knowledge to take it from something we know to something we experience.  The practice of regularly experiencing our new knowledge transforms it into a skill.  As we practice, our skills develop and become easier for us to execute.  When the skills (even the hard ones) become easier for us to execute, we are motivated to pull them altogether into one cohesive performance.  Then we feel ready to share our craft with others, a.k.a. an audience.


As we continue to learn and experience our new knowledge and refine our skills, we begin to want to share it with others.  And we begin to look for opportunities to perform.  Performance opportunities come in all shapes and sizes.  They can include things like recitals, master classes, workshops, community theater shows, local bands, open-mic nights, etc.

While I feel like the studio has done a pretty excellent job at helping students progress in stages one and two (knowledge growth and practicing), this third stage (performance) could use some tweaking.  Bella Musica offers students 3 to 4 recital opportunities annually in addition to inviting some students to participate in festivals and competitions.

Also, several of our students find their own performance opportunities through participation with local theater companies and bands.

Are recitals, contests, and community opportunities the right fit for every student?  Are these the only performance avenues that could be available?  I think the answer to both of these questions is “no.”  One of my goals for this year as a studio owner and educator is to explore other ways to help my students build confidence and gain experience performing.  Especially for my adult students and others who want to think outside the box of the traditional recital.  Traditional recitals will always have their place as a tenant of a performance education, but there are so many other ways that we can incorporate performance into our process as we grow as a musician.  I’m excited to see what creative confidence-building events we can come up with!

Have an idea or any further questions about the ways to gain performance experience and increase confidence?  Drop me a line – I’d love to hear from you!



If you are interested in voice or piano lessons and are ready to find out all the details.  Hope on over to our Memberships page and choose the one that fits you!  And if you aren’t sure what you need, let’s figure it out!

Voice Lessons are unique