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Preparing for a Performance


Preparing for a Performance

by Donna

It is a scientific fact that studying music has many benefits.  It makes your brain smarter, it improves disciplined habits, and it can be a relaxing creative outlet in a busy world. When you take private music lessons, you get professional and individual instruction in a safe learning environment where you can explore many facets of music in a variety of styles and contexts at your own pace.


One important facet of learning music, is the art of performance. Performing in front of an audience can be scary and intimidating, especially if you are new to lessons and/or performing. But there are many benefits and rewards to take away from this experience if you are brave enough to take on the challenge!


Here are a few tips I share with my students when preparing for an upcoming performance:

  1. Prepare ahead.  It’s not a good idea to wait until the week before the performance to start practicing. Usually, I will start talking to my students about the performance about 2-3 months ahead of time. I let them know the date of the event and we begin choosing the music to perform.

  2. Practice. We all know practice is an important aspect of learning any instrument but it is especially crucial when preparing for a performance. Start by practicing slowly, in small sections (if playing piano, this usually means starting with hands separate first), and concentrate on the basics (note reading and rhythm). It’s important to take your time learning the notes carefully so there are less mistakes to fix later.

  3. Details. Once you learn your music, adding certain details will help make the performance special for you and the audience. I always tell my voice students that every song they sing is telling a story and it’s your job, as the singer, to tell that story properly. This applies even when playing an instrument. The “story-telling” comes when we add the details, such as dynamics, accents on certain notes or words, correct rhythms or changing tempos. For a singer especially, it’s important to portray the right emotions with your facial expressions and body language. If you, as the performer, are enjoying the story, the audience will too.

  4. Performing. Do a test run of your performance before the actual performance. Call your family and friends into the living room and perform your piece for them! The more you are in front of an audience, the more comfortable you will be for the real deal! When you are finished, make a slight bow to the audience to say “thank you for listening”. And most importantly, don’t forget to SMILE!!

t forget to SMILEractice will help ensure a successful and confident performance!t of an audience, the more comfortable you will

Putting these tips into practice will help ensure a successful and confident performance!