December 11, 2018     Maggie Rodriguez

25 Tips for Musicians and Directors to Combat Holiday Concert Season Stress

Two cups of hot chocolate with candy canes and snow on wood table

For musicians and music directors, the winter holiday season can be a stressful time. Rehearsals and performances for holiday concerts, plays, caroling, and musicals, plus side gigs like singing in or directing your local worship choir can be draining. Here are some holiday concert season stress-relief tips!

Colorful photo of bowls of food

Fuel your body

  • Meal prep food that you can easily take with you to rehearsals and performances.
  • Try to avoid processed sugars; they will only make you more tired in the long run.
  • Make healthy snack bags with nuts and dried fruits that will give you energy.
  • Drink water or herbal tea – hydration is important!
  • Use a slow cooker to optimize meal prep time.
  • Allow yourself an indulgence every now and then – treat yourself!

Adorable Golden retriever puppy with Santa hat sleeping peacefully

Protect your voice/health

  • It can be tough but try to get enough sleep each night. If you’re needing to nap where and when you can, carry a sleep mask with you so you can catch some zzz‘s no matter where you are.
  • Consider getting some additional vitamin C to boost your immune system – you can eat fruits high in vitamin C like oranges, kiwis, or grapefruit; alternatively, you can take a vitamin C supplement.
  • Carry lozenges with you to suck on while you’re not practicing, performing, or directing. There are lozenges and sprays that are specifically made for musicians like Vocalzone and VocalEze, as well as Luden’s Throat Drops and Throat Coat tea that have no menthol.

Mother and baby doing yoga together and having lots of fun

Stick to an exercise routine

  • Walk an animal – borrow your neighbor’s pet if you don’t have one!
  • Carry resistance bands with you so you can sneak in a workout between commitments.
  • Look for free classes in your area or take advantage of New Year’s sales on gym memberships.
  • Try a stress-relieving and centering form of exercise like Yoga.
  • Peruse YouTube for exercise vloggers and free classes.

Woman looking at shopping list on her tablet


  • Make a calendar of all your rehearsals, performances, and other obligations.
  • Utilize apps, online calendars, and project management tools to keep track of to-do’s and events.
  • Delegate – ask musicians, booster groups, parents, or volunteers organize things like holiday parties, caroling opportunities, and concert advertising.
  • Offer extra credit to musicians who are willing to organize your music library post-concert.

Hot chocolate with smiley face

Take time for self-care

  • Learn to say “no” when you can – don’t overextend yourself.
  • Take time to unplug from electronics or use your electronics to help you calm down. There are a number of great meditation apps.
  • Hug your favorite human or animal.
  • Schedule out your sleep time – we’ve mentioned this already, but sleep is important!
  • Listen to music that isn’t what you are working on.
  • Find a safe person to vent to.
  • Unwind from rehearsals and concerts with a favorite TV show or a book.

Most importantly – have fun! This time of year is supposed to be a joyous season where people of all walks of life come together and celebrate each other. 

Download our free Musical Celebrations Calendar! | A perfect addition to your rehearsal room, Encore Tours' Musical Celebrations Calendar features musical celebrations and holidays around the world. Each month features a different celebration and shares the history of the holiday, as well as ways that you can celebrate it with your ensemble!

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