Preparing to Perform

2005, 2015

On the Spot: Czerny and the Role of Improvisation in Classical Piano Education

By |May 20, 2015|Improvisation, Memorization, Music School, Practicing, Preparing to Perform, Talent, Teaching|

Thank you so much for your patience as I finished up a busy semester! As my first post back, I thought I’d share one of the things I was up to while I was gone. Below you’ll find my music history research paper. It’s kind of long for a blog post, so I’ve included an abstract too. Enjoy!

Abstract:
Throughout his career as a piano instructor, Carl Czerny emphasized teaching improvisation, an art that may have contributed to the harmonic understanding, technical development, and musical memory of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century pianists. Improvising publicly was common practice during Czerny’s life. His treatise on […]

1502, 2015

Finding Motivation to Practice

By |February 15, 2015|Expectations, Motivation, Music School, Practicing, Preparing to Perform, Work Ethic|

Are you having one of those days? Are you looking for every possible reason why you don’t actually have to practice today. I can relate. Sometimes the biggest challenge is just finding the motivation to practice. So what do we do when we don’t feel like practicing?

1) Just start

If you just start practicing, you’ll often notice that you want to finish what you’ve begun. Once you’ve started, it’s much easier to keep practicing longer.

2) Plan to do it first thing in the morning

Having a specific plan for when you practice will help. Often doing it first thing in the morning […]

102, 2015

On Stage (Preparing to Perform – Part 2)

By |February 1, 2015|Nerves, Performing, Preparing to Perform|

As you might recall from Part 1, there are 3 steps to performing in a concert. Now that we’ve covered the practicing and the practicing performing, it’s time to actually perform.

How do we deal with those annoying butterflies in our stomachs and play as well as ever?

There’s no magic trick, but here are a few suggestions when preparing to perform.

1) Try holding a high-power pose for 2 minutes before your performance

Research shows that this increases risk tolerance, lowers cortisol levels, and increases testosterone levels, configuring your brain to be assertive, confident, and comfortable.

2) Breath and take your time.

It feels much […]

1801, 2015

Performance Practice (Preparing to Perform – Part 1)

By |January 18, 2015|Performing, Practicing, Preparing to Perform|

Performing in a concert or recital involves 3 basic steps:
1) Practicing (preparing the music itself)
2) Practicing performing
3) Performing

Since it can be difficult to practice performing without just performing, we often skip step 2.

If our performance practice is limited to the performances we do throughout the year, however, we’re setting ourselves up for inconsistent performances and years of practice before reaching our goals.

I’d like to share a few strategies I’ve learned to use as performance practice before every concert or recital.

1) Simulate Nerves

a) Get your heart rate up (run up and down the stairs or do jumping jacks)

b) Record yourself […]