The following is a guest article written and submitted by Lisa Shoreland:
As a piano teacher, I know I have a few students every year who keep me up at night wondering and worrying about their ability to execute successful performances. As our recital date creeps up on us, I find myself weighing their practice and dedication against the feeling that they just aren’t prepared to perform in a way that would be a positive experience for them. Inevitably, I find myself backstage with at least one student who’s terrified of performing. I listen to the litany of reasons for avoiding the night’s performance, and at the end of it, I have to decide whether the student should play or be allowed to postpone the performance.
No one likes to be in that situation. No matter which choice you make, there are potentially negative consequences that could prevent students from coming back for more lessons. A negative performance experience can seriously affect a student’s motivation to keep learning and practicing.
To help you avoid this painful backstage melodrama, I’ve compiled some strategies that usually work for students who sit on the fence of public performance all year long. I hope you can use them to help every student in your studio arrive prepared for successful performances on recital night. [···]