How to Succeed Onstage

With recital season right around the corner, it’s a good idea to start preparing as soon as possible. The following tips will make your performance extraordinary!

Depending on how you look at it, performing can either be rewarding and enjoyable or intimidating and nerve-wracking. After years of performing as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player, I have discovered several ways to make your performances as successful as possible:

★ Practice as if you were performing - When you practice, visualize your run-through as a performance. Imagine that everything matters: posture, tone, technique, stage presence, etc. The way you practice is the way you will perform. So, practice intelligently and pay attention to all of the small details.

★ Perform for as many people as you can before the real deal - Being nervous is normal. So, if you perform in front of a practice audience, you will give yourself the opportunity to get used to the feeling of nervousness. When you’ve gotten your nervous energy under control, you will be able to focus 100% of your concentration on a good performance.

★ Remember to breathe and control your movements - When people get frightened they produce a hormone called adrenaline. Adrenaline causes the body to tighten up and take shallow breaths. Instead of giving in, focus your attention on controlling your body movements, and remember to take deep, slow breaths.

★ If you make a mistake, don’t sweat it - Good performers understand that each and every performance won’t be perfect. In fact, even the best performances have some mistakes. If you make a mistake, don’t worry about it. Remember - performances aren’t about being perfect; they’re about doing your best!

★ Relax and enjoy yourself! - When you get onstage, smile and have fun! Remember that performances are a chance to show people how much you love what you do! Audiences come to watch people perform at their best. So, get out there and show them how fun it is to perform!