Practice Challenges 6, 7, & 8

Preparing for your performance

Congratulations! You’ve worked so hard to get to this point. It’s been several weeks since we started learning this semester’s songs and each step we’ve taken has brought you closer to mastery. Let’s review how we got to this point and how we can prepare for your upcoming performance.

Let’s outline the final steps to get you performance ready:

PC 6: Memorize your song

Memorizing your song frees you from the burden of the written page. When your song is memorized you can look at your hands to ensure perfect execution of a difficult passage, you’re free to make eye-contact with the conductor––and other ensemble members, and you are able to fully engage with the audience.  

Tips for memorizing–with your music put away:

  1. Recite the road map aloud
  2. Remember the big picture! Think in terms of sections: intro, verse, chorus, etc…
  3. Practice slowly, phrase by phrase. Challenge: try half-speed!

PC 7: Practice performing

In order to be ready to be in control and master the adrenaline and nerves that come with performing in public, we must practice being in a performance environment. Here’s some activities that will get you ready to hit the stage:

  1. Get your music ready: Even if your song is memorized you still may want to have your score on the stand for the show. Make sure it’s marked and ready to go!
  2. Practice what happens before and after you perform your song. Practice moving with calm grace to the stage (or pretend stage). Take your time, tune, smile, relax!
  3. Stage a mock recital. Gather your family into the living room to enjoy a concert preview. With all eyes on us we sometimes play differently. Observe yourself and make adjustments to accommodate.

PC 8: Perform

Music performance can be as challenging as it is thrilling. A successful performance can take many forms depending on the performer and the circumstance. In a guitar studio recital setting, a successful performance is one in which you’ve done your best.

Earn practice challenge stars for the following:

  1. Come to the recital = 1 star
  2. Participate in a group song = 1 star
  3. Perform your prepared song = 2 stars

Remember that performing is an act of sharing your uniqueness as performer. Be yourself and have fun!

Good luck

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