Every music student will eventually face one of the most exciting and scary moments…the live performance.
As teachers, it’s important to prepare students to be ready when it comes to playing in front of an audience. There are a few things you will need to address.
First of all, it’s important to know that the focus here is going to be about music students in general, which could lead to all sorts of genres of music.
Everyone is different
Remember that every student is different. Some students may have a harder time performing in front of people than others.
While as teacher you should give the same attention to every student, it’s important to ??
This is the main hurdle for some musicians when playing for the first few times, however the worst aspect about stage fright is actually before actual performance.
For many musicians, stage fright, nerves or butterflies in the stomach go away the second they begin their performance.
For some it may be a bit more of a problem as it gets in the way of the actual performance with a cloud of doubt and insecurity.
This is normal and the best tip out there is to get used to it, like many things in life, being out of the comfort zone is not an easy thing. It’s scary at first but it’s also easy to overcome those fears with time.
You have to remind your students to not worry during the pre show routines, the most important thing before a live performance is to be focused and prepared, because this will carry your students throughout their stage fright when the time comes.
Live Behaviour and Mistakes
A musician’s focus is of course the music, but it is a show, and you need to let your students know that the show must go on, always.
As musicians get more comfortable in their “live performer selves” they will develop a stronger presence, but the most important thing for beginners and music students is to deal with mistakes in an elegant way.
It’s almost impossible to avoid mistakes, and you need to remind them of that hard fact.
What can be avoided is a poor way to handle those mistakes, which is to stop playing or making funny faces to indicate they made that mistake.
This is one of the most common mistakes young music students make, and the best way to overcome this, is to practice.
It should be clear however that there are two ways of practicing, general rehearsal and practicing specific parts of a musical piece.
When practicing a specific part, stopping is necessary, going back and doing it again, listen closely and fix every little mistake as much as possible.
But when rehearsing, the idea is to play or sing as if you were live.
What this does is that you get used to following the general structure of the music no matter what, making every mistake a tiny bump on the road instead of a stone wall.
Live Supervision and Support
For the younger students, it’s always good to let them know you will be there, not just as adult supervision but support.
If your students see a figure with whom they feel comfortable, their eyes will turn to them and it will no doubt give them confidence.
On the other hand, it’s always good to supervise and keep things under control if there are any unwanted surprises or negative behaviours.
A Few More Tips
For pianists, it’s a good idea to have them practice the entire sequence from coming up to the piano bench to finishing the piece and bowing.
If you test them by placing the bench incorrectly on purpose and let them adjust it the right way, they will be better prepared for small situations like that.
In order to overcome their nerves, it’s a great idea to have them play in front of people, maybe start small, playing in front of their family, then small groups of friends.
This will help them get used to being heard and seen, while maybe also have a bit of feedback on where they lose strength throughout the performance which can be very helpful and important in their career as musicians.
Performances in the Calendar
Having a music organization software program like Music Teacher’s Helper can help you organize all of your performances. You are able to keep a calendar and add which students will be attending that particular event. You can also keep track of cover charges in the event as well! Come try us out for free for 30 days by clicking the Sign Up button at the top of the page!