Performance Experiences – Grant Oliver

  1. If I had to imagine how my next performance would go, my number one hope would for myself to be more prepared. I feel like my last few solo piano performances have been unnecessarily stressful as I have not given myself the preparation I need to give a concert without anxiety. I am not the kind of person that gets nervous easily, but I always feel better when I know I can walk on stage and perform music that I know so well I barely have to think about it.
  2. I always strive to appear well prepared and confident, no matter what. It is almost impossible to give a perfect performance, so one of the best skills to have as a performer is the ability to improvise your way out of a mistake. If you do everything correctly, most people in the audience will never know the difference.
  3. I have done this for other instruments but not for my solo piano performances. I do regularly record my private practice and have found that to be a great tool to critique my practice.
  4. I rarely feel performance anxiety. Usually the only time this happens is when I know that I am ill-prepared for a concert. But when I do get nervous for a concert it is usually physical, I feel shaky, tired or nauseous.
  5. I liked the idea of making sure you take time to breathe and pace yourself. It’s all too easy to just rush and push yourself quickly through practices and performances.
  6. I have pushed myself to the point of pain during practice. I try not to do this and force myself to stop as soon as I feel any discomfort, but unfortunately I sometimes don’t notice this until I’ve given myself a pretty bad cramp or blister.
  7. My normal practice routine is 30 minutes on 5 minutes off. I need to give myself frequent breaks or else I find myself returning to practice that is not helpful, ie. Just playing through songs instead of truly practicing. During my breaks, I usually try to get up and stretch and walk around, and maybe listen to some music unrelated to what I am practicing.
  8. Making sure I warm up before and after practice is important to me, as I find I strain myself most when I try to just sit down and play the hardest piece I know. I also think mental health can be important to safeguard, as I know that practicing multiple hours a day can quickly lead to frustration and depression if you are not keeping yourself in the right frame of mind.

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