As we move into the Spring festival and recital season, consider taking time to talk to your students about good performance practices.
It’s easy to get tied up working on students’ skills with their repertoire and forget that there’s much more to it when it comes time for them to actually perform their music!
I sometimes find myself forgetting that students don’t just automatically KNOW these things, we have to take time to talk to them about (and practice) things like…
- If you make a mistake, do your best to continue in an inconspicuous manner without pauses, facial expressions, physical reactions (such as flinching), or sounds.
- If the performance situation has them announcing themself and/or their piece), speak slowly, and clearly, with well-articulated words and confidence.
- The Day of the Performance…At least once during the day (and preferably about an hour prior to the performance), take a moment to close your eyes and visualize your performance including walking in, talking to the judges (if applicable), adjusting the bench, and warming up.
- The Day of the Performance…Make sure you have practiced what you will use to warm up when you first sit down at the piano. Every piano feels different so don’t be afraid to ask if you can try it out before you begin your piece. A brief scale/warm-up or opening 4 measures of your piece will suffice.
- The Day of the Performance…Take a celebratory photo after the performance somewhere that is memorable of what the event was and send it to your teacher!
This free download includes TWO CHECKLISTS:
The first is a “Piano Performance Checklist”. This page is great to use with students either individually or during a group performance class. It’s not an adjudication sheet, just a nice list of things that make up a solid performance.
The second is a list of helpful points for students to remember “The Day-of Your Piano Performance.”
I’m sure there are a whole plethora of other items that could be added to each but the goal was to keep it fairly concise and keep it to one page each. You don’t want to overwhelm students with TOO many do’s and don’ts.