As a Music teacher, I often get very frustrated by my students and their lack of preparation for Performance Assessments. Here is a list of the 10 most common mistakes they make.
- No regular schedule for rehearsal
- No plan for what to do in rehearsal
- Not recognising problems within their performances
- No warm ups or cool downs
- Just play through the music without purpose
- No focus on developing technique
- Rehearsing in weird performance positions – on their bed, lying down, cross-legged on the floor!
- Only rehearsing the parts they can do OR only playing pieces that they like
- Do not seek feedback OR simply don’t act upon the constructive criticism that has already been given
- Not rehearsing with a supportive audience – family members, friends and class members
Sometimes, when a student is supposed to be working with an ensemble, they then make these mistakes
- They don’t know their part before the set rehearsal
- Rehearsing as if they are performing to each other and not to an audience
- No focus on balance
- Just go through the motions
- No focus on the end product
So to avoid the common mistakes do this instead
- Create a schedule and stick to it! Think of rehearsal as “study” for this subject
- Create goals – small ones for each rehearsal, and bigger ones like “I will have learnt the lyrics to the song by….”, or will have learnt all pieces by (insert date)
- Record and watch your performances to identify problem areas to focus on and fix
- Warm up!!! Do the exercises that your teacher has suggested – they know what they are talking about and only ask you to do the exercises because they know it will help
- Have a goal for each piece of music you are rehearsing – is it to fix the mistakes in timing? mistakes in pitch? mistakes in fluency? And WORK on these problems
- Aim to develop your technique – this might be breath control for vocalists, stamina and muscle memory for instrumentalists, posture, etc…
- Rehearse the way you are going to perform the final piece – is this standing? sitting? on a stool? Try doing this in front of a mirror OR record you performance so you can watch yourself back
- Focus on the whole program that you are going to perform. Rehearse all pieces so that you can get them all to a similar standard, this might mean focusing on problem areas first
- Seek feedback from your teacher and then apply it! Know that your teacher is not trying to hurt your feelings, you are a reflection of them and they want you to be successful and the best that you can be
- Rehearse in front of an audience, often. This will help you get over stage fright and it will highlight problem areas within your program/pieces. Also try to rehearse in the space that you will be performing in as much as possible, it will help you to get a “feel” for the space and make it less scary on the performance day.
Don’t forget about your ensemble and remember these tips
- Know all of your parts and what you need to have learnt before coming together with your ensemble
- Rehearse as if you are performing to an audience
- Know your equipment and ensure that you have balance for each piece performed with the ensemble
- Have a plan on what the ensemble needs to focus on and work on those areas with purpose
- Focus on what the end goal is – work towards this as a group, be sure that each member of the ensemble knows what they are supposed to do
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Until next time
Julia from Jooya