Performance “Do”s and “Don’t”s

Alaina Ferris, Voice & Piano Instructor at The Lesson Studio

Alaina Ferris

There were many times in my performance career when I was thrown onto a stage without ever being told what to do. However, there are a lot of things to consider before and after you perform. Stage fright is a natural part of performing, but it can be assuaged with proper preparation. Take the time to read through this performance checklist. Hopefully it helps you with your next performance!

  1. Arrive ahead of schedule!
  2. Make sure you have all of your materials.
  3. Be sensitive to dress codes.

Approaching the Stage

  1. Make sure you have all of your materials in your hand, before you go on stage.
  2. Bow and acknowledge the audience.
  3. If you have not been announced, say your name and the piece you will be playing.
  4. Take your time! Tune your instrument, arrange your music, take a few deep breaths. Do not begin playing until you are ready.

During the Performance

  1. Attitude not only shapes how you play, but affects the engagement of the audience. Be positive. Be willing to talk to the audience. Different kinds of songs require different approaches and attitudes. Determine your attitude before you perform the song. Is the song light and playful? Is it quiet and contemplative? How can you reflect the song’s mood in your physical performance?
  2. Never be ashamed. Mistakes are part of any performance. Do not point them out to the audience. Accept them and let them become part of your playing.
  3. Inclusive Awareness: Be aware of the audience without letting it affect your concentration. Nervousness is natural. The best way to combat it is to be aware of it without letting it stop you.
  4. Be patient with your performance. Space and silence are equally as important as every note you play. Do not rush through the piece.

Performing with a Band

  1. Always acknowledge your musicians! If the song features a solo, announce the solo before or immediately after the piece.
  2. During the solo, look at the soloist!
  3. Name all the musicians in the band again before or immediately after the last piece of the show.
  4. If you are playing with an accompanist, announce them at the beginning of the performance.

After Your Performance

  1. Bow, collect your materials, and walk off stage.
  2. Learn from your experience, let it inform the choices you will make in the future, but accept your mistakes and do not dwell on them.

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One Response to “Performance “Do”s and “Don’t”s”

  1. studiomanager541 Says:

    Thanks for sharing that – your post is really very timely. The points you’ve mentioned shall indeed be taken into consideration to make each rehearsal appear with much performance level and such finale must seem to be so perfect. Anyway, you’ve got a very nice and interesting blog here. I always feel glad whenever I encounter people who have the same passion and love for music like what I actually have. Please also share other useful studio management tips and resources – giving us more rooms for effectiveness and efficiency. Thanks again and see you around. Cheers!

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