April 09, 2015
Concert Season is Coming
Are you ready for concert season? Whether you’re a music student yourself, or the parent of a young musician, it’s important to be prepared for performance season. School concerts and recitals are an amazing opportunity to display musical skills. With proper preparation, you can ensure the best concert ever.
It’s common for music students to be nervous about performance season. Younger students may have butterflies about performing in school concerts, but even intermediate and advanced players may feel anxious or pressured about playing in public. That’s why we recommend all music students take extra steps to prepare for concert season.
Here are our favorite tips to help you deliver an amazing musical performance in any concert setting:
Tip #1. Practice, Practice, Practice
There’s no better way to prepare for a recital than practicing. If possible, play your instrument every day for at least 30 minutes. If you’re going to be playing with a band, orchestra, or other type of musical ensemble, make sure you attend as many rehearsals as you can. Practicing your instrument will improve your playing and help you feel confident as you approach performance season.
When you practice, warm up with scales and other exercises to keep your general skills strong. Then, focus on the pieces you’ll be performing. If you’re going to be performing a longer composition, such as a symphonic piece, you may find it helpful to break the music into smaller chunks.
Are there any parts that are more difficult to play? If so, practice those sections more. You may also benefit from listening to a recording of the music and playing along. Practicing with other musicians will help, too. But remember to have fun and enjoy yourself! Take periodic breaks to improvise or play other songs so that practice doesn’t feel like a chore.
Tip #2. Take Extra Lessons
Another great way to prepare for performance season is to take extra music lessons. Students who are playing in a school band or orchestra may consider signing up for private, individual lessons leading up to school concerts and recitals.
Even one or two lessons with a private instructor can dramatically improve your playing. A private instructor can help students focus on technique and refine their playing by giving them more attention than they would normally receive in a group class. You can also ask that the instructor help you learn to play a specific piece in preparation for an upcoming show.
At Music & Arts, we offer private lessons for musicians of all ages and skill level. All of our instructors are highly qualified and experienced, with a passion for teaching all kinds of music. We offer online music lessons as well, so you can learn from the comfort of your own home at your convenience.
Tip #3. Keep Your Instrument in Great Shape
As you get prepared for the upcoming concert season, make sure your instrument is prepared, too! If your instrument is damaged, your performance will suffer. Learn how to keep your instrument maintained in top shape.
Keep your instrument clean, store it properly, and purchase any accessories you may need to keep it maintained. We also recommend stocking up on extra strings, reeds, finger pads, and other parts that are prone to breaking. There’s nothing worse than breaking a string right before a school concert!
Before performance season starts, assess your instrument’s condition carefully. If it needs any repairs, get them fixed as soon as possible. The Repair Shop at Music & Arts has over 40 nationwide locations ready to get your instrument in like-new condition. We are an authorized servicing center for many of the world’s top instrument makers and are ready to handle any repair.
Tip #4. Calm Nerves with Mindfulness Techniques
Finally, calm your nerves. School concerts and other performances can be a source of stage fright for some, especially younger students who don’t have much playing experience. If you’re feeling anxious about performing, practice mindfulness techniques in the days leading up to the show.
Some musicians find it helpful to close their eyes and visualize themselves giving an amazing performance. Others use breathing techniques to relax. Taking long, deep breaths before stepping on stage can help slow your heart rate and reduce anxiety.
You can also try focusing on the tactile sensations of your instrument. Notice how it feels in your hands and allow yourself to get “lost” in the music as you play. Try playing a practice concert for family and friends — and ignoring them once you start!
Tip #5. Have Fun!
But most of all, remember that concert season should be fun and enjoyable. Let this be a time to share your passion for music with the rest of the world. Invite your loved ones to watch and consider asking one of them to record you. Then, step onto the stage and play your heart out!