Performing Music Archive

In yesterday’s post, I wrote about the importance of practicing distinct sections of music to aid learning and memorization.  However, one element of music composition works against us as we prepare and learn music: repeated sections.  Most pieces contain musical material that keeps coming back throughout.  So, if we break up the music based on the sections […]

Like me, you’ve probably had a performance where the beginning of your piece sounded great, but the middle was just okay.  Most musicians have experienced this situation, and it can be a bit unsettling while you’re on stage. There are many reasons this situation occurs, including always practicing from the beginning of a piece, not […]

Performing should be the goal for all musicians.  Though practicing and learning new music can be rewarding, there is little point in putting in all that hard work if you’re not going to play with other musicians–and hopefully in front of an audience.  There is an easy-to-use 3-step process that will get you ready for any […]

One area that’s often skipped in the time-consuming process of preparing music is the performance itself–that is, exactly what should happen on stage. Beyond being able to play all the music you intend to perform, you’ve got to be ready to put yourself in front of an audience. It’s time to think about your stage […]

When many musicians practice, they go about it the same way they listen to music.  That is, they start working on a song at the beginning and run through the music until they get to the end. Then, the entire process starts over.  The musician goes back to the beginning and plays through to the […]

In a recent post, I mentioned some difficult performance situations that had a devastating effect on musicians. Let’s discuss what you can do in the practice room to prepare yourself for these situations. In a nutshell, you want to create some discomfort in your practice space.  You need to know that you can deal with […]

Although it’s important to have a specific practice space where you feel comfortable, it’s also important to be realistic about the demands of performance spaces. All kinds of issues can come up during a performance, including bad lighting (including having a spotlight in your eyes), extremes of temperature, terrible acoustics, audience noise, and not being […]

As a culture, we need to emphasize sportsmanship more for musicians.   I said “sportsmanship” instead of “musicianship” because we don’t really have a word for courteous behavior in the performing arts. “Musicianship” is defined by the Random House Dictionary as “knowledge, skill, and artistic sensitivity in performing music.” These are undeniably important factors in creating […]

Performing music is the reason we spend so much time and effort in the practice room.  But, even when we know how to practice and feel well-prepared for a concert, sometimes the outcome of the concert is less successful than we wanted. Hey, it’s happened to us all.  I’ve had terrible performances, and you probably have […]

Unsportsmanlike Conduct

Improving musicianship is important in practicing and for performing music.  But, what about sportsmanship? Webster’s Dictionary defines sportsmanship as “conduct (as fairness, respect for one’s opponent, and graciousness in winning or losing) becoming to one participating in a sport.” I especially like the part about “graciousness in winning or losing.”  That sounds like a good […]