Practice Tip of the Week:
Control Your Performances

Many musicians neglect the crucial transition from
practicing to performing and are then surprised by
their feelings when they walk on stage.

These feelings can lead to damaging thoughts of
inadequacy during a concert.

Instead of feeling these pressures when you walk on
stage, you must put the pressure on yourself at home.

Your goal is to make your practice session feel like a
live show. The ultimate technique to create this feeling
is to play a Performance Run-through.

Let’s go through the step-by-step process:

1. Schedule Your “Performance”: Don’t just say, “I’ll
do it Tuesday.” Tell yourself, “I’m performing Tuesday
at 8:15pm.”

2. Create an Audience: By recording or videotaping
yourself you create a virtual audience. Some musicians
invite family or friends for an actual audience.

3. Wear Your Concert Clothes: Make sure you can play
comfortably!

4. Have a “Backstage”: Begin by standing “in the wings.”
Then, enter your practice space, pick up your instrument,
acknowledge the audience, and perform. When finished,
acknowledge your audience again and return to your
“backstage” room.

5. Do Not Stop: No matter what happens during your performance,
keep playing!!!!!

Some musicians take additional steps to put on the pressure:

— Set up a webcam and broadcast your “performance” live on
the Internet. Then, post it online—even if you were unhappy
with it.

–If you have a live audience, invite them to critique you.

–Change the temperature or lighting. Many stages are too
hot, cold, bright, or dark. Make your practice run-through
uncomfortable so you’re ready for anything!

You can do several of these performances in one day. The
trick is to make each trial run in your practice space feel
like a real performance.

If you’ll do five in a row, be sure to leave the room in
between each run-through. Start the entire process each
time. It’s important to walk “on stage” and begin playing
just like you’ll do at an actual performance.

Have fun with your run-throughs. Your goal is to feel
confident and in control!

To Your Musical Success!

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