36. Practice performing. If you have a recital/concert coming up that makes you nervous then do some practice performances. Find a couple friends or family members who you can play your pieces for. You can also give your concert at a retirement community. I have found this to be a lot of fun and the audience is really appreciative.
37. Focus on the music. One effective way of doing that is by counting the rhythm in your head. In the next example I would count along with the melody. Use, “1, 2, 3, 4” for the strong beats and “&’s” for the weak beats.
Counting while performing allows you to focus more on the music and less on the audience.
38. Performing confidently begins in the practice room. When you are practicing do you ever find that your mind wanders? If this is the case, then your mind will also wander in a performance. The difference is that it won’t be thinking about what you are going to have for dinner but instead will be thinking, “what’s the next chord????”
39. Learn the music ahead of time. I have had students in the past tell me three days before a student recital that they want to play the new piece they are working on. Guess what?? It usually doesn’t go well. It takes a while to really internalize a piece of music. Just because you can play a piece at home by yourself doesn’t mean that you can play it on stage in front of an audience.
40. Think of a performance more about sharing your love of a piece with an audience and less about you.
41. Mistakes are fine. They happen. Nobody is perfect
42. Focus on getting the “message of the piece” For me, the musical message is usually emotional. I try and focus on that rather than getting the performance note perfect.
43. Find a spot in the music you can jump to if you have a mental lapse.
44. Practice ‘performing’ a piece. Meaning, go from beginning to the end without stopping even
if there are mistakes.
45. When a performance is coming up I find it helpful to practice ‘performing’ in different places other than my normal practice area. For example, I might play outside or play in a different room than where I normally practice. Take yourself out of your comfort zone.
46. Try to warmup as long as you need in the concert hall or wherever you are performing. Get used to the space and how it sounds that way it isn’t a shock when you walk onstage.
47. When you get onstage take a deep breath and relax before playing. It’s exciting and if your adrenaline is rushing through your body you will want to take a moment before beginning to play. Mentally count yourself in and then have the time of your life. You are playing music!!!!!