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.

Preparing to Perform- Simulate Nerves

1) Simulate Nerves

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

b) Record yourself (then you can give yourself a lesson afterward too)

c) Imagine yourself on a stage in front of a large audience (try to actually get nervous)

d) Imagine yourself playing/singing for someone who makes you really nervous (maybe someone who’s opinion is very valuable to you)

Preparing to Perform-Work on Focus

2) Work on Focus

a) Create a clear roadmap of what you need to think at every point in every piece

b) Do practice runs of your entire program (it helps develop stamina and focus)

c) Do practice runs in especially distracting settings

Preparing to Perform-Perform

3) Perform

a) Play/sing for family

b) Play/sing for friends

c) Play/sing for other musicians

d) If possible, set up another performance in a more laid back setting to use as your practice performance before the actual concert (a retirement center is an ideal place where everyone will appreciate you, but you will still be performing in a new setting for strangers)

How else do you practice performing? Please share below!

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