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The Best Way To Prepare For Your Piano Recital

Updated on December 12, 2010

Music Performance In Front Of An Audience

Proper concert preparations should not only condition your hands and fingers for a performance but also help you to get into the correct mindset for playing in front of other people. Though pianists with more experience can turn to an established routine to warm up for a recital, those with less experience often feel nervous and stressed. Read up on the following tips to help you relax and increase your chances of dazzling your audience with your musical skills.

1) Stick to what you know.

A recital is no time to try out a piece that you are not comfortable with. Instead, sticking to the music that you know well and enjoy playing will translate into a better experience for both you and your audience. This is a time to showcase your strength as a pianist. Selecting a piece that is too challenging for you will serve to make you more nervous. If you are going to play more than one composition, begin with the less technically demanding pieces and progress to the more advanced music so that your audience is gradually transported through the music as your hands become more limber. By the time you reach the most complex piece, both you and your audience should be ready!

2) The Importance Of A Dress Rehearsal

Finding a friend or a teacher that you trust, and playing the pieces that you plan to perform for them can be a valuable experience. You will gain knowledge of what it takes to please an audience, and your friends can give you good feedback on anything you may want to consider changing before the actual performance. Be sure to run through every piece you are planning to play from beginning to end so you become accustomed to playing without breaks for an extended period of time.

3) Visualize Your Show

Visualize your piano performance as a success. Run through what is scheduled to happen in your mind's eye, and insert as much detail as you can. Imagine yourself walking up to the stage and taking a seat at the piano. Look out over the audience and see them smiling back at you. Imagine that you are confident and relaxed as you begin to play, and when you are finished see and hear the applause from the audience.

4) Enjoy The Attention From Your Audience

Your audience wants you to succeed, and they are there to share in your musical success! Do not be afraid to connect with your audience, and smile at a few people as you sit down to begin. Many of these people are probably friends of yours, focus on a couple of them and imagine that they are the only ones there! The audience is not your enemy, they have come to listen to the music that you provide, so establish your synergy with them for an experience you can all enjoy together!

5) Be mindful of what is happening at the moment.

Nobody ever knows exactly what will happen, and there may be some unexpected events during your performance. You may make a small mistake, or there may be a problem with the instrument. Stay tuned into your music no matter what, and be flexible. If you do make a mistake, forget about it quickly and move on without letting it stop you. Trust that you are most likely the only one who knows it was a mistake, your audience is involved in enjoying the music and they will not notice a small flub. You have practiced and prepared for this event, and you know what you are doing. After you have performed once, you will see that there is nothing more to be afraid of and every performance after this one will be easier!

Reader feedback and comments welcome!

What do you do to prepare yourself when you have to perform under pressure? Share any ideas or questions you may have on this subject in the comments box below.

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