We are trying a first in our studio: the adult piano party. Yes, an adult piano recital. Lots of interest, lots of anxiety, lots of second thoughts.
Here are some thoughts to consider on reducing stage fright.
1. Be prepared. Chose a piece you know and love. Remember the other musicians present will remember how beautiful you played, not how difficult the piece was.
2. Go by the venue prior the event and check it out.
3. Bring your music.
4. Remember the stakes are low, really.
5. It will be good experience in preparation for a piano exam, if you are going down that road.
6. Leave critical family members at home.
7. When you arrive, speak with other musicians, who like you may be experiencing various levels of anxiety.
Perfect practice makes perfect! Maximizing your practice routine with Sean Jones, Trumpet
Notes on Practice for precollege and college musicians. I wrote in New Orleans after hearing Mr. Jones speak.
This could be subtitled, "how I raised myself from obscurity to playing in Lincoln Centre and how I keep my place in the band now that I've got there post."
Start with your goals. This year, this month, this week, this day, this hour. And then 5, 10, 15 20 years out. These goals must be congruent. (I'll vouch for that)
Sean's Four Hour Daily Routine
Self assessment is important. These moments define your character as a musician. It takes for your body to catch up to your brain. Plateauing. Respect this, you are still moving.
Practicing is proof you have it in you.
Jamming and gigs take priority
Rest as much as you play
Endurance comes from enduring
Don't hurt yourself
Push to exhaustion but not injury
Slow and clean
"Practice is the repetition of an action that gives you the results you want to achieve"
"How I became a cornetist" book A how to manual from the 19th century (I'm reading this book currently. It is so inspiring)
Educators, "Don't limit your advice to your own experiences"
The music is the motivation to practice.
Environment is important. Peer group affirmations.
It was a packed room of enthusiastic music strivers.
For more information click this link from Downbeat:
Habits are better than goals
Goals give direction and focus to our efforts. Habits will get you there.
Habit: hab·it ˈhabət/
noun: habit; plural noun: habits
1. a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.
There are a lot of myths on learning music. "I'm too old, I'm too young, I'm too this I'm too that"
Some of my finest students are in their 70's. Gary is swinging hard playing jazz, he is off to Jazz camp this summer with his cousin. Eleanor is arranging and composing up a storm exploring Scottish Folk Songs of her youth. She has learned to score her music, create a website, and post it all on the web.
What do they all have in common? Good practice habits.
Habit #1: When they practice, they practice thoughtfully and deliberately. No wondering around the piano. They are focused and expect to accomplish something that day.
Habit #2: They listen to music, they go to concerts, they are involved in music.
Habit #3: They seek feedback from the teacher. They work on their own, they know what they want, they understand that music classes are just one aspect of the journey. Personal exploration is the main focus.
If you'd like classes give me a call, I'm all booked up now, but I'm organizing for July and September now.
New Year, New Goals
If you are a New Year resolution kind of person, you are familiar with the routine. I won't go over it here.
But, I will add this. When it comes to piano lessons, goals are great, but learn to enjoy the trip. Too many students are so eager trying to get to some point (i.e. Goal) that they are impatient, unhappy, and stressed out. Unless you have a hard deadline, like a university audition date, just start moving in the direction of your dreams and savour the views of your journey.
You've got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail.
I'm a professional pianist and music educator in West Toronto Ontario. I'm also a devoted percussionist and drum teacher.