Performance Games to Help Conquer Stage Fright

Create a safe and fun environment for participants to gain confidence performing in front of others 

Performance Games help build your participants’ performance skills and confidence on stage in a less intimidating way than a full-fledged performance. These events are perfect for participants not quite ready for an open mic night or other public events. Host regular opportunities that are fun, relevant, and interactive to help build confidence and a sense of community.  

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How to… 

  • Use popular culture TV/YouTube shows or late night talk show skits and ask your participants to develop fun team building games and activities that anyone can participate in (regardless of skill). 
  • Performance Games can also be used as an incentive or a break from the normal routine or workshops. (i.e. Guitar participants could participate in Air Guitar instead of their weekly lesson, all voice participants could enter in the Karaoke Competition at the end of their session as a type of recital)
  • Set rules and expectations for participation (ie. no “booing”) and create a support a culture of support/respect among participants 
  • Keep the activities “in-house” and small scale.  Whether in your music program space or in a teen center, help limit the exposure of participants to help them build performance skills and confidence 
  • When participants are ready, encourage them to raise the stakes of their performances (ie. perform at an open mic night or showcase event, etc) 

Set up a weekly or monthly rotation of fun activities/events such as: 

  • Car-Pool Karaoke Competition: Using the popular TV show (or any variation of karaoke) singers have a safe way to perform in front of their peers. Set up 4-5 chairs in the same way a car would be set up and have participants sing along to their favorite artist.  
  • Lip Sync Competition: Each participant picks his or her favorite song to lip sync. Focus is on believability as the performer. 
  • Air Guitar or Air Band Competition: Performance is mostly classic guitarist moves such as jumping, spinning, head banging, etc. Audience votes for winner (by applause) and they win a prize. 
  • “Rock Band” Competition: Sign up “bands” of 4 members each and have them compete in a battle of the bands type event using the popular video game, “Rock Band.” 
  • Beatbox Battle: Separated into age divisions (10-14 & 15-18), each participant gets 3 minutes to show off his or her beatbox skills. 
  • “Guitar Hero” Competition: Using the popular video game, “Guitar Hero,” host a competition in each level of ability. The winners of each level then compete head to head. Overall winner is based on percentage of accurate notes played. 
  • Singing Bee Competition: Based off of the TV shows, “Don’t Forget the Lyrics!” and “The Singing Bee.” A list of popular songs are chosen and presented for each contestant. At a certain point, the music stops and the participant must complete the lyrics. The judging is based on knowledge of lyrics, not on vocal talent. 
  • Battle of the Bands: Form groups who perform and ”battle” each other for the top prize. 
  • Lobby Performances: Regularly scheduled (e.g. once per month) time when a small ensemble performs in the lobby welcoming members and guests to the building. 
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