Note: Adult students can replace the word "Parent" with "The Responsible me"
The previous post was about class recitals and what it takes to participate in them. This time I would like to share a few practical techniques that will help assure all goes well in the performance itself.
Just like many other things in life, performing is something that can be learned and practiced, the more, the better, because playing in front of others feels entirely unlike playing when no one is around.
Leading up to a bigger performance it is good to have several mini recitals with the same pieces, played in the same order as planned for the big one. Having even one person listening to you makes a big difference. So with the family members seated, the player will walk up to the piano, acknowledge their audience, play the pieces through as in the recital, finish with a bow while the audience is applauding and take their place to listen to the imaginary next player. This can be done repeatedly, and if there are other people around to join in the fun, they can help too. Family guests, friendly neighbors, etc.
For older students another very effective way to prepare for the performance is playing for a recording device. Even if you are on your own and know the recording can be deleted, this creates a sense of pressure that is similar to the feeling of playing in front of others. Listening to your recordings will help you improving your playing. I wouldn't recommend younger students listen to recordings of themselves before the performance though, it could make them too self conscious.
Slow Motion Practice
Playing through the performance pieces at a slow motion speed is also a good way of preparing for the performance. By playing at a very comfortable pace, the student can consciously train feeling relaxed while playing the piece. More about this in a separate post.
The Fan Club Effect
I often hear young students say they are worried about disappointing their parents if they don't play well in the recital. A clear message from their parents that they are proud of them for being courageous and performing in front of an audience would be great. Knowing the parents appreciate all the work and effort that went into the preparations for this performance, will get them feeling supported and backed up rather than criticized. Everyone likes to have a positive audience. Professional sport teams play better when the home crowd is cheering them on, and young (and older) music students who are taking their first steps as performers need to feel their parents understand them and back them up fully.
Adults tend to be overly self critical. Sometimes the very same people who are forgiving and kind towards others, say the most horrible things to themselves. If you treat yourself like a loving and encouraging parent would treat their child, chances are you will feel a lot more comfortable performing!
- Who are Class Recitals for?
- Yoga and Piano?
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