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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.