Performing Music Archive

How loudly, or quietly, you play has a huge effect on how effective your performances are. The same music played at different volumes has different effects on listeners. If you play more or less at one volume all the time, your playing might sound flat and uninteresting. The best musicians play different sections of songs […]

Are you passionate about the music you’re playing?  If not, it’s probably pretty difficult to get excited about practicing and doing all the hard work needed to perform well. There are plenty of situations in life that do not contain passion.  Just think of commuting to work or school, running errands, doing housework, and all […]

It’s interesting to rehearse without playing the beginnings of any of the pieces your ensemble is working on.  This is counter-intuitive for most people, but it opens up the group to thinking about their music in a new way.  Just because the default mode of musicians is to start at the beginning doesn’t mean that […]

A performer walks on stage to start a concert.  They seem uncomfortable, maybe even a bit scared.  They look down at the floor as they enter. How will the audience react to this musician?  Will they be enthusiastic and eager to listen to the performance? In this situation, audiences usually feel embarrassed and worried that […]

The world doesn’t work the way musicians think it does.  Here’s a typical thought process of musicians about their chances of success: If I work hard and get really good on my instrument, there will be plenty of gigs for me.  With this music degree from a prestigious university or conservatory, I’ll get hired to […]

Do you know what you look like when you perform?  Most musicians are so concerned about their sound that they neglect the visual side of their performances. The truth is that audiences take your appearance very seriously.  This fact is even built into our language.  We say we “saw” a concert, not that we “heard” […]

Many musicians work on silencing their inner critic.  We all know that put-downs coming from our own minds can be damaging to mental health and to our performances.  Shutting down this negative inner dialogue is a key component to performing successfully. But, there’s another aspect of the inner voice that doesn’t get as much attention: […]

Performing music has its own rewards.  It’s fun to play, especially when you’re performing with musicians you really like.  It feels good to communicate something of value to your audience.  It’s a thrill to be in front of a crowd of people who are there to see you play.  And, it’s wonderful to have the […]

After writing about stage presence and music lessons in a post earlier this week, I started thinking about how clothing affects audiences’ reactions to musicians. Musicians must be comfortable on stage, but they also must look the part. Audiences expect a symphony orchestra to be dressed formally, a country act to have a few musicians […]

Performing music involves much more than just playing well.  There are certain expectations for how musicians look and behave when they’re on stage.  But, where do musicians learn these skills? Recently, I was looking over the description of a program for music students to earn a certificate for playing in front of an examiner.  These types of events are […]