Tips For Reducing Your Performance Anxiety

Tips For Reducing Your Performance Anxiety

Are you a musician who suffers from performance anxiety? Well, relax, you’re normal! Almost ALL musicians are nervous before their shows, especially ones performing their first few gigs. Here are a few tips based on my experiences to help you to face and overcome your anxieties, and learn to enjoy the show (and give your best performance)!
Tip 1: You’re not as nervous as you seem to be. 
I leaned this in the classroom rather than on the stage. As a young adult I was so nervous to speak in front of people that when I returned to night school I purposely scheduled my Public Speaking class first, figuring if I could get through that I could easily complete the rest of the degree program.
The night of my first speech came, and I was a mess. After I was done with my rambling presentation, the class ‘critiqued’ my speech. Although I felt like a nervous wreck, people said that I didn’t look nervous at all.
Really? How does that work? The professor said that people are hyper sensitive to their ‘normal’ self, and feel more nervous inside than perceived by others. Lesson learned, and a game-changer for me: you can have performance anxiety , feel nervous and worked up inside, and most people won’t even notice!
Tip 2: Relax; even if you mess up, most people won’t hear you mistakes. 
I’ve performed almost 1000 shows since the early 80’s. I’ve made a LOT of mistakes in shows, and can say with utmost confidence that most people never notice them, even the bigger mistakes. Sure, you’ll hear them yourself, but the important thing is that you recover and continue with the show.
I often bring new performers to play in shows with me, and sure, there’s a bad chord here and there, but when it happens they get back on track and continue on, and nobody notices. That’s just how it works for performers; occasional mistakes are ‘normal’.
So remember that EVERYONE makes mistakes now and then; that’s a fact of life. Recover and continue on. After the fact, focus on the good parts of your performances, not the 1% mistakes… because everyone really hears the 99%.
performance anxiety

A typical open-mic event is a great place for performer to build their performance experience.

Tip 3: Perform as much as you can.
A new performer is like a passenger in a car… the trip just happens; a seasoned performer is the driver, taking control and steering his or her performance to where they want it to go.
When I was a new performer I was nervous like everyone else. It took lots of shows before I became comfortable in that role, and moved from the passenger to the driver. But the key is to perform as much as you can to make this happen. If you are taking lessons, and your studio offers recitals, go out of your comfort zone a bit and sign up for each one (our recitals are always a mix of younger and adult performers). Look for open mics and other performance opportunities. As the performances pile up, you’ll find that you become more comfortable and confident performing, and you’ll begin to perform at your best.
I have found over time that experienced musicians perform at their best because they are in tune with what their audience “sees and hears” when they perform, and that is learned through experience.
I hope these tips help to reduce your performance anxiety and become the performer that you’ve always wanted to be; now schedule your next performance and continue to build your performance experience!
If you have performance anxiety and would like coaching, NHTunes can help! Contact us HERE and we will send you more information on our coaching options.

Ear Training – Getting A Handle On Pitch

Pitch is a fundamental aspect of music, and ‘hearing’ and anticipating pitch (ear training) is an important skill for an accomplished musician. Why is command of pitch so important? Here are a few of the many reasons:

  • Anticipating pitch is critical for vocalists, as they need to ‘hear’ the note that they will be singing before they actually sing the note.
  • Anticipating pitch is equally important for improvising, as it allows the soloist to improvise in a ‘musical’ manner, and not just ‘hit the correct notes’.
  • Knowing pitch will help you greatly when you attempt to figure out other artist’s songs (this is how experienced musicians can hear a song for the first time, and ‘just play it’).
  • Great pitch is an important asset when it comes to songwriting, and ‘finding the next chord’, or transcribing the ‘music you hear is in your head’.

    Ear Training

    Ear training is not just for vocalists; ALL musicians will benefit greatly!

Most new musicians don’t have very good command on pitch, but there are ways to practice and develop it. One of the ways we teach pitch is with scales. It doesn’t matter if the student is studying an instrument or voice; the technique we use is the same. To begin learning pitch, follow these steps:
  • Play the major scale (do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do) on the piano/guitar/ukulele. You want to be able to play the scale fluidly once forwards, and once backwards. If you are studying voice, your instructor will play the scale for you.
  • Once you’re able to play the scale cleanly, stop on each note and sing it after you play it. Work slowly, and make sure you correctly sing the pitch of each note before moving to the next (this is where our instructors can help you to insure you’re actually hitting the correct pitch).
Once you can competently play and sing the major scale, move to the next steps:
  • Play the first note of the scale, then sing the next note in the scale sequence before playing it. Make sure your voice matches the tone of each note as its played. For example, play ‘do’, then sing the pitch for ‘re’; then play ‘re’. If it matches, sing ‘mi’ and play ‘mi’; follow this through the entire scale.
  • Move the scale to different keys and do the above exercise. Make sure that, after you hear your starting note ‘do’, that you can sing the following notes correctly just before playing each note.
Once you can successfully ‘anticipate’ and match pitch in sequence, move on to harder pitch anticipation using scale phrases.
  • Use scale phrases of three or four notes and sing each note as it’s played. For example, play and sing ‘do-re-mi-re-mi’, or ‘do-re-do-re-mi-re-do’. Be sure you can sing and match the note pitch as you play.
  • Move to different keys and challenge yourself. Play the first note to give you the ‘key’, then jump right into phrasing & singing.
  • Build up speed so that you can quickly anticipate pitch. Shoot for a baseline of 120bpm.

These ear training exercises will help you to develop your command of pitch, and as such will be such a huge benefit to your overall musicianship. We hope that you find them helpful!

If you would like help getting started, or for more information on our voice or music lessons, please click HERE. Note that we offer in-studio and online music and voice lessons.
We have a great staff of experienced instructors at the studio; you can see our instructor bios HERE.

Which Other Music Studio Offers Their Students These Opportunities?

NHTunes Music Studio offers their music and voice students much more than just their weekly lessons. We pride ourselves in offering our students many opportunities, outside of their private lessons, in an effort to build their confidence and performance skills. Take a look at the opportunities we regularly present to our students – all at no additional charge!
If you’d like to keep informed of these and other events, please like our Facebook page.


Music Studio

Adult student Lisa performs at a bi-monthly recital.

Bi-Monthly Recitals, and our Holiday Recital
Our students perform at local nursing homes and other similar venues throughout the year. These performances are absolutely loved by the residents, and they help our students to hone in their performance skills.
Each holiday season we have our annual Holiday Recital, held at the FaithBridge church in Manchester NH. This well-attended recital is a highlight for many of our students, as well as for our music studio, and definitely gets folks in the holiday spirit.
 Live Performance Opportunities with The Sonic Boomers
Many students have had the opportunity to perform at a local venue with the acoustic duo The Sonic Boomers. What a thrill (and a great experience & confidence builder) for a student of any age to perform at a ‘real’ gig! For many students this is a great introduction as to what it’s like to be a ‘working’ musician, and helps to shape their musical aspirations.
Music Studio

NHTunes adult student Andrew performs with the Sonic Boomers at an outdoor party.

Radio Show Appearances
Students of NHTunes Music Studio have been fortunate enough to appear on local radio station 107.7 “The Pulse” many times! What an awesome experience – performing on live radio! The show is now streamed live on Facebook, giving more opportunities for friends and relatives to experience their student’s performance!
National Anthem Performances

We have been fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to have our students sing the national anthem at Junior Monarch games at the Tri-Town arena in Hooksett NH. This season we have had over a half dozen of our voice students participate! A great opportunity for our voice students, and a potential stepping stone to appearing at larger events!

NHTunes Music Studio

Students Bella and Molly perform LIVE on 107.7 The Pulse!

NHTunes Music Studio is proud to offer these opportunities and more to our students, as they play a key role in their overall musicianship. Remember, these opportunities are at no additional charge to our music and voice students!
If you’d like to keep informed of these and other events, please like our Facebook page. You can see our instructors list HERE, as well as inquire on their availability.
If you’re interested in signing up for lessons, why not purchase a gift certificate? They are currently on sale… prices start at three private voice or music lessons for just $65!

What To Expect At Your First Voice Lesson

So you’re thinking about taking voice lessons, but are a little nervous about what to expect at your first voice lesson. Well, relax and read the next few paragraphs; we think you’ll see that voice lessons are fun, and not as intimidating as they first appear.

When you arrive for your first voice lesson, you may first be shown around the studio, and then introduced to your voice instructor. Your instructor will likely ask you questions regarding your singing and general music background; for example, have you sung in a choir or solo before? Do you have any experience singing or performing in front of people? Do you play in instrument? What are your goals for your lessons? These questions will help the instructor to format the lessons based on your individual experience level and goals.

Then comes the fun! It’s time so sing!! Well… almost. First, your instructor will discuss two important fundamental elements of proper technique: posture and breathing. These two elements (along with vowel shaping) will be reinforced throughout your voice lessons as they are critical in obtaining the singing voice that you’ve always dreamed of having.
OK, it’s almost time to sing! But, before you start working on an actual song, your instructor will use scales to both determine your vocal range, and to get an indication of your pitch accuracy. Of course knowing your vocal range is necessary in order to pick an appropriate song, in the correct key, for you to work on. And knowing your pitch accuracy is important for the instructor as they’ll assign various exercises based on your level of pitch accuracy.

Finally, it’s time to sing! Your instructor will pick a song that is appropriate for both your skill level, and physical singing capabilities. The goal is a song that you’re both familiar with, and would love to sing. Of course, based on your skill level your first few songs you work on may not be the songs of your dreams, but the goal is to get there.

your first voice lesson

Voice lessons are fun, and everybody can improve their singing voice!

If you stick with voice lessons, you’ll see the following happen:
  • Your vocal range will expand.
  • Your pitch control will be more accurate.
  • Your overall singing will improve.
  • Your ear will develop and you will hear music differently than before. You will understand pitch better. You’ll be able to better distinguish individual elements in music. As our instructor Ethan Brown puts it, “ear training is just as important as the physical aspects of singing. You need to be sure of each note to be sung before it comes out of your mouth.”

When do all these great things happen? It varies on the individual; their background, their natural abilities, and the amount of time they spend practicing. Regardless, we see improvements in all of our students. Of course, not everybody is a Frank Sinatra, or an Adele, but everyone can improve their singing voice, and the speed at which they improve is based on how much time they spend practicing.

Last but not least, an incredibly important element of general musicianship is performing skills. For this reason, we hold bi-monthly recitals, and we hope to see most of our students participate in these free recitals. Although many students find performing initially a challenge, after a couple of performances it becomes less stressful, and more fun! Students that have performed in several recitals often look forward to future events, whereas at first they dreaded them.
We hope that, after reading this, you have a better idea of what your first voice lesson will be like should you decide to start. If you’re interested in scheduling a lesson, you can click HERE. You can see our instructors HERE, and inquire on their openings HERE.
Please note that we do in-studio as well as online voice lessons!

Why does my guitar or ukulele go out of tune so often?

Why does my guitar or ukulele go out of tune so often? Do you have a guitar or ukulele that never seems to keep itself in tune? Usually the problem can be pretty simple to solve if you know what to look for. Most problems with tuning are due to one of these four factors:
New Strings
New strings stretch, and take time before they can hold a tuning. You can expect steel strings to need playing for about an hour or so before they’ll finally settle in. Unfortunately nylon strings (common on almost all ukuleles and classical style guitars) can take several days or even a week or so before they can consistently hold tuning. You can expedite this by stretching your new strings; see here for a tool that works well for you:
Old Strings
Over time, strings tend to loose their capability of holding tension. You should change your strings at least every few months. A telltale sign that you need to change your strings, outside of the fact that they go out of tune, is that the instrument starts to sound dull (this is especially true with steel stringed instruments, in which the strings will also look dirty over time). You can use a string cleaner to keep your strings clean and your instrument’s tone bright:
Why does my guitar or ukulele go out of tune so often?

Properly installed guitar strings have only two or three winds around the tuning pegs, and DO NOT overlap.

Improper Installation
Guitar and ukulele strings should not overlap themselves at the tuning peg. This overlap can cause the instrument to loose tuning as it’s being played. The image below shows properly installed strings. Strings require only two or three winds around the tuning peg, and should never overlap. To accomplish this, follow these steps when changing strings:
  • Put the new string through the hole in the peg and pull so that the string is taut
  • Back it off about an inch and a half, and bend it up at the hold
  • Wind the string. It should then wind about 2 to three winds before reaching tune.
Loose Tuning Pegs

Occasionally a guitar or ukulele tuning peg will loosen, causing it to turn and de-tune on it’s own. When this happens, the string will quickly loose tuning. Often with this issue, all that’s needed is to tighten the peg (the screw is on the back of the neck). If this doesn’t work, then the internals of the tuning peg may be an issue, and a replacement is needed (fortunately, replacement tuning pegs are reasonably priced; see here:

Why does my guitar or ukulele go out of tune so often?

Sometimes a tuning peg will cause tuning problems if this screw loosens up.

So, the next time that you ask yourself “Why does my guitar or ukulele go out of tune so often?”, check these relatively simple things, and more often than not you can fix the problem yourself!
Read more about our guitar lessons HERE, and our ukulele lessons HERE.

Recording Studio Gift Certificate – the perfect gift for the vocalist or musician in your life!

recording studio gift certificate

Our spacious studio, located at 250 Commercial St, suite 2017, Manchester NH

NHTunes offers recording studio gift certificates for time in our professional recording studio – the perfect gift for young and old musicians alike! You can purchase gift certificates in 2, 3, and 4 hour increments. Each hour that you purchase includes an audio engineer whose job it is to insure a smooth running, great sounding recording session! It’s an affordable gift that will be remembered for years to come.

What can your recording studio gift certificate be used for?
  • Voice recordings – Many folks come into the studio to r
    recording studio gift certificate

    Our studio features some of the best equipment the industry has to offer

    ecord themselves singing to backing tracks (you can purchase high quality backing tracks for just a couple of dollars each HERE). The backing tracks are loaded into our system, and the vocalist sings to them in our specially treated sound booth. Most people complete two or three songs in a two hour session, and leave with their songs on a CD that day! The final product sounds great, and it’s an experience that both young and old will really enjoy. Do you know someone that likes to sing? This is a perfect gift!

  • Singer/Song writer – Singer/songwriters will enjoy recording in our studio. Many of these folks are performers making demos to find more work; sometimes the recording is a keepsake for the performer him or herself, or perhaps to give as a gift. Whatever the reason, any singer/songwriter would love a gift of a recording studio gift certificate for time in a professional studio.
  • Full Bands – Do you know somebody
    Recording studio gift certificate

    The view of our studio looking out from vocal booth #2

    in a band? They would LOVE time in a pro studio! Many bands come in the studio to either record their original music, or to record covers to distribute to venues in order to get more gigs. Our studio easily accommodates a full band, and they’ll never sound better! And best of all, many times a band can record two or three songs in just 4 hours!

A recording studio gift certificate is a great gift for the musician in your life! You can purchase your gift certificate HERE, and will be e-mailed back a printable gift certificate within 24 hours that you can give to the lucky recipient. When they are ready to book their session, simply e-mail us (, or call us at 603-660-2208.

Looking For Guitar Lessons? NHTunes Can Help!

If you’re looking for guitar lessons and live in or around Manchester, your search is over! Make NHTunes your music studio for your guitar lessons! Why choose NHTunes? We have five GREAT reasons:

  1. Our private guitar lessons are reasonably priced at $27/half hour. We offer a 10% discount for families, and/or hour long lessons. When you start your guitar lessons, there is no long term commitment – you pay per-lesson to make sure our instructor and facility is a good fit for you. We offer online payments, and accept all major credit cards.
  2. We have the best instructors around! These BA+ music professionals love what they do, and it shows in their student’s progress. Check out a couple of videos below and see for yourself!
  3. Whether a beginner or an advanced player we can teach you!  Children will get a solid music education learning to read notation, and apply music theory; adults can learn chords, strumming, and songs without having to learn to read. We are flexible enough to modify our lesson plans for the needs of each particular student.
  4. Our professional studio! Our newly constructed facility in the Manchester mill yard is clean, comfortable, and conveniently located less than a mile off of 293.

    Guitar Lessons

    Our professional studio in Manchester NH

  5. Performance opportunities! We offer bi-monthly recitals which are free for our students. These recitals are held at nursing homes and other similar venues. Students of all ages are encouraged to participate.
We could go on and on… but these five reasons clearly show why you should make NHTunes YOUR music studio for guitar lessons.

If you are interested in trying a lesson with one of our instructors, please purchase your lesson HERE.  You will be contacted by a studio representative who will schedule your lesson at a time that is convenient for you.

NHTunes music studio: More than private music & voice lessons!

If you think that our music studio offers only private music and voice lessons, you’re in for a surprise! In addition to lessons, our Manchester NH studio offers a wide range of music related services, including group music classes, recording and voice over courses, birthday parties, and an on-site professional recording studio! Here are details on our services.

music and voice lessons, music lessons, voice lessons, singing lessons

Our in-house recording studio features some of the best gear in the business!

  • Our on-site recording studio features great rooms, and some of the best gear around. We have top-of-the-line instruments available for our clients use. We have years of experience working with artists from the local to the national level. We record bands, singers, soloists, and voice-overs for radio and TV. Our affordable rates even include an engineer to run the session!
  • Our ukulele group meets weekly in the NHTunes music studio for a fun-hour of strumming and learning songs! The group meets each Wednesday evening at 7pm, and walk-in’s are welcome! The cost for the hour session is just $10!

    music and voice lessons, music lessons, voice lessons, singing lessons

    NHTunes is home to the Manchester Ukulele Club!

  • Our Audio Engineering course is designed to teach students to record and mix their own music. The non-credit course if offered through Manchester Community College, and generally runs on Saturday mornings 10am-noon, in our professional recording studio. Students work with real-world ses sions to learn the tools used to create a great mix: compression, EQ, and gating.
  • Our Voice Over course is perfect for someone considering a career in the field of voice over! The course takes place in the NHTunes recording studio, and is taught by voice over artise JC Haze,  a 35 year broadcast and voice over professional. Courses generally run on Monday evenings.
  • Birthday parties!! Let us host your party in our professional recording studio, and it will be a party that will always be remembered as the coolest birthday party ever! The lucky recipient and up to five friends will have a ball singing in our professional sound booths – they’re sure to feel like a rock star!!! The songs are mixed down at the party, and each person gets their very own CD!
  • Music and Voice lessons – of course, we need to mention the wide range of instruction offered by our ten professional music instructors. We offer instruction in the following areas:
    • Voice
    • Piano
    • Guitar
    • Ukulele
    • Mandolin
    • Trumpet
    • Flute
    • Saxophone

We also offer gift certificates for music and voice lessons, and studio time!!
NHTunes… we’re more than private music & voice lessons!

Voice or Piano Lessons; Our Instructors Make All The Difference!

If you’re looking for voice or piano lessons, make NHTunes your studio! NHTunes is Manchester’s premier music studio, offering expert instruction in voice, piano, guitar, ukulele, drums, and more! What makes NHTunes your best choice for voice or piano lessons? It’s not just our clean and professional studio; nor is it our free bi-monthly recitals; nor is it our affordable rates of just $27 per half hour private lesson. It’s our instructors! We have some of the best instructors in the business, period.

Our instructors offering voice or piano lessons:

Marie Hasty: Marie began piano lessons at age five and continued through high school.  She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance from Pensacola Christian College.  She has been teaching private music lessons for ten years and has also taught children’s choirs and preschool music classes. See more on Marie here:

Valentina Bashindzhagyan: Valentina graduated from the Music Concentration School, located in Baku, Azerbaijan for  musically gifted youths, as a pianist. She continued her musical education at the Azerbaijan State Conservatory receiving a bachelor’s and master’s degree in operatic singing. See more on Valentina here:

Jessica Mimms: Jessica has been an active musician for over 17 years, first learning classical and jazz technique for clarinet and saxophone, as well as receiving formal vocal performance training. She is now an active piano accompanist for a local church in the Manchester area, always developing her own musicianship further.  She has her Bachelors in Psychology from Granite State College with a focus in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Applied Behavior Analysis, and currently works as a Behavior Therapist for children in the public school system.  See more on Jessica here:

Our instructors offering piano lessons:

Matthew Hasty: Matt began studying music at age 8, and has been involved in performing since age 9.  He studied classical music and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Piano Performance from Pensacola Christian College in 2000. See more on Matt here:

Ethan Brown:  Ethan has his B.M. in Music Education,  and B.A. in Jazz Guitar Performance from UNH. He has extensive music teaching experience, interning at Mast Way Elementary School, and teaching Saxophone at Moharimet Elementary School. See more on Ethan here:

Lisa Hansen: Lisa has been playing the piano for 20 years, the trumpet for 15, and has been teaching for over a decade. She has taught piano, brass, and woodwind instruments at NHTunes. Lisa is the music teacher at Jaffrey Grade School in Jaffrey NH, and teaches students in kindergarten through 5th grade, and also runs the band and chorus for the school. Lisa has a Bachelors of Music in Music Education degree from the University of New Hampshire.
So as you can see, if you’re looking for voice or piano lessons, please look no further than NHTunes! You can inquire on an instructor’s openings by online clicking this link.
To schedule a lesson, please click HERE!

Music And Voice Lessons – Our Instructors

NHTunes offers the best music and voice lessons in Manchester, and it’s because of our great staff of music instructors! Whether it’s voice, guitar, piano, ukulele, or drums, our qualified instructors teach their music and voice lessons with care and enthusiasm! Our professional studio is spacious, well-equipped, and a comfortable, fun place to learn! We have five student-model pianos for use in music and voice lessons, and guitars on site for student’s use. We have plenty of free evening parking at the studio, and a large waiting area.
Our staff of instructors include the following:
Music And Voice Lessons

NHTunes guitar instructor Bill Godwin

Voice: We have three voice instructors that teach both classical and contemporary style. They have over 50 years of combined teaching experience! Our voice lessons are custom tailored to each student’s needs.
Piano: We have six piano instructors that love to work with all students, from total beginners to intermediate and advanced levels. Our instructors teach at a pace that each student finds comfortable.
Guitar: Our three guitar instructors have all studied at Berklee College of Music! They teach all styles, from rock & blues to flamenco and classical! Our guitar lessons focus on chords and strumming, so that student can play through songs after just a few lessons.
Ukulele: The ukulele is a fun and easy instrument, and our three ukulele instructors will have you playing the ukulele FAST! The ukulele is great for students of all ages, but is especially good for younger students whose smaller hands do well with this instrument.
Our instructors also offer Drums, Saxophone, Trumpet, and more! You can see our instructors in action HERE!

NHTunes is proud to offer music and voice lessons to Manchester, Bedford, Hooksett, Auburn, Goffstown, and surrounding communities. Our half hour private music and voice lessons cost just $27 per half hour! If you are interested in signing up for music or voice lessons, please see HERE.

Music and voice lessons

Our spacious and comfortable music studio is a perfect environment for learning!

You’ll find no better value for music and voice lessons than NHTunes.