Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Music Performance Tips

If you play music, chances are you're going to be asked to perform from time to time.  This can be nerve-racking no matter what your level of ability.  Here are some pointers for those situations.
drawing by Katy Ellis O'Brien
  • Engage the audience by smiling and making eye contact. 
  • Start out strong with a number you can play well and really enjoy playing.  
  • Focus on material that is well within your capability. 
  • Look like you are having a good time even if you are scared to death!
  • Audiences tend to be very forgiving of nerves and a few missed notes. They are on your side and want you to succeed.

Music is about the heart and soul, not perfection.

  • Don’t call attention to mistakes and don't dwell on them.  Just keep going.  Often folks don’t even know that you screwed up.  
  • Be proud of yourself for even being in this position and having the opportunity to share the fruits of your labor with others. 
  • Performing is like acting.  Act like this is the most important time you’ll ever play this song.
  • Play what you think will sound good and/or what you would like someone to play for you.
Performer by Katy Ellis O'Brien
  • Be in the moment. Avoid inner dialogue that can make you feel distracted and flustered. Self-criticism will only cause you to lose focus.
  • Do not speculate over what others might be thinking about your performance while it is happening. Wait until after the performance, when you have heard other people's reactions, to reserve judgement - if at all.
  • Motion creates emotion. If you engage in body language or facial expressions that your body associates with being nervous or apprehensive, then your body will assume that you are in that mood.  Instead, try to exude relaxation and confidence in the way that you carry yourself.
Most of all - forget about what others might think and just have fun!

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