How to prepare for a public performance? A short five-point guide
Exams are approaching. Many of you may be preparing an audition that will take place in front of a jury. Unless you are a great concert performer with 200 shows in your agenda, you can feel the stress rising. It's normal, it's even quite good news. Breathe and follow our guide.
Start by changing your attitude
The first thing to do is to always see the glass as half full. Your teacher gave you the audition date, the dice are rolled. Instead of feeling as if you've been hung by the neck, be positive! Remember that at last you will have the opportunity to present the fruits of your labour and the scope of your passion for music to someone, even if it’s only an examination jury. It's already first step towards your grand debuts at Carnegie Hall.
Give yourself the means to be fully prepared
It's a well known fact: performing in public, unless you’re a singing machine who has already toured the best stages of the world, means exposing yourself to others judgement. Get naked. Exit the comfort of your living room, that place where you freely devote yourself to instant inspiration. In order, not to be destabilized on the hearing day, you need to be in control of your program. Musicians say that it takes 150% preparation to get half of it right on the day of the exam. In any case, it's better to do too much than not enough.
Accept stage fright
Your heart gets off your chest even when you play in front of your classmates? You're nervous, but it's no big deal! Know that stage fright a musician's friend; without it, we would all be bored and making music would transport us as much as typing a report on your computer. Making music means getting involved with all your heart, giving yourself to the fullest, showing off your full range of emotions. There are methods that will help you manage it better, but just try to look beyond and think about the music.
Get out of your living room
Whenever possible, try to create opportunities for you to play your audition program ahead of time, at least partly. Depending on your instrument, the project may be feasible: for guitarists, even a picnic in the park can be an opportunity for friends to discover the Albeniz’s Asturias, the summer hit that everyone will want to learn to play. If you are part of the unloved instrumentalists like pianists, whose instruments do not travel and do not fit into any holiday plan, you will have to ruse. Your teacher may help you organize at least one public dress rehearsal before the fateful date...
If you made it to the jury, it’s because you care about music, it is a part of your life, it’s your choice. Whatever the context of your next public appearance may be and even if the professional stakes are considerable for you, tell yourself that they are always equal to your investment. It is very likely that the jury who will judge your performance will try their best to make you feel comfortable, value your work and allow you to give your best performance. They all had the same experience as you and they realize what this means to you. So be brave and confident, get started, and above all, enjoy the moment and share it with others as well!