When it comes to taking piano lessons most students perform in recitals at one time or another. Whether you are a seasonal recital performer or are facing your debut appearance, you probably have questions, concerns and a few butterflies too.
Whether you plan to take center stage or simply want to feel a sense of satisfaction for song playing success, you will need to develop a strategy. In his book, Eat That Frog! 21 Ways to Overcome Procrastination and Get More Done in Less Time, Brian Tracy refers to the six “P” formula which says:
Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.
But how can you do this? Where do you begin? Feeling confused or even stuck?
By using the following checklist, you can unlock the door to a great recital performance.
Here is your Piano Recital Checklist:
12 secrets to help you make your performance a huge success
1. Start preparing early.
a. Think of the fable of the tortoise and the hare, and remember the moral of the story: slow steady progress wins the race every time.
b. Find the balance between getting started too early (which can cause boredom) and last minute cramming (which never works).
2. Select your music carefully – use many factors to decide.
a. Do you really like and enjoy playing your recital piece?
b. Have you already spent time learning the music?
c. Can you discuss your choices with your teacher?
d. Do you feel comfortable with the level of difficulty?
Follow this rule of thumb: select something easier than your current learning level so that you can “master” the piece rather than “stretching your limits” just to get through it.
3. Study the musical details of your recital piece(s).
a. Look at the form and structure of the song to help you feel more confident as you play with continuity from beginning to end.
b. Pay attention to the dynamics, articulation and musical expression marks. These guides will help you present a more powerful and moving performance.
c. Take note of the tempo and meter so that you can learn to play your piece evenly and smoothly at the proper speed.
4. Set up your practice time-table.
a. Start with the performance date and plan backwards.
b. Take difficult sections of your piece(s) and work on them early and consistently.
c. Set some target dates for reaching certain short term playing goals so that by the time the recital arrives, you’ve mastered the complete piece(s).
5. Make sure your practice spot propels your progress.
a. Carefully assess the place where you practice to make sure that feels inviting to you. This one factor can encourage or discourage you tremendously.
b. Make sure your piano is in tune and that you have the proper lighting.
c. Be sure that it is free of distractions such as TV, video games and computers.
6. Organize your recital music as soon as possible.
a. Photocopy and put all of your recital pieces into a loose-leaf to be used just for your recital performance
b. If you use piano books, open your books to the correct pages and place one behind the other.
Note: Doing this will make it easier to focus on your most important and time-sensitive goal: getting ready for your recital.
7. Practice all of your recital pieces every single day.
a. Always practice the selections in the order that you will be playing them in the recital.
b. Practice each piece several times before going on to the next one (including extra practice on problem areas).
8. Listen to recordings of your pieces by top professionals.
a. You will become inspired, motivated, energized and enthusiastic every time you hear how terrific your song can sound like when played with expertise.
b. Take your MP3 player or iPod with you and make your songs your companions.
c. Download a variety of versions of your piece(s), because each performance will offer you something special.
9. Record yourself playing your pieces and listen to them.
a. Record and listen to your run-throughs a couple of times per week.
b. Save the recordings and listen to the previous ones so you can hear your progress.
10. Play your recital pieces for family and friends.
a. Take the opportunity to “perform” as often as possible.
b. Play your pieces on as many different pianos and keyboards as possible. This will help you to adjust your touch quickly as well as build your confidence.
11. Read inspirational material and/or listen to podcasts by motivational speakers.
a. Sometimes you just need to be reminded of the potential that you have within you. By reading or listening to uplifting and inspiring messages you’ll stay motivated to keep going when the going gets rough.
12. Spend some time every day visualizing yourself performing your recital selections beautifully, effortlessly and enthusiastically.
a. By imagining yourself in positive way on a regular basis, your piano playing performance will be more powerful.
b. The greatest Olympic athletes use this technique to help them win the Gold.
So can you!
Here are three things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action.
First, get ready immediately, avoid procrastination and follow these checklist items:
(1) start by preparing early, (2) select your pieces carefully, (3) study the details of each
musical selection and (4) set up your practice time-table.
Second, move into action by (5) making your practice spot a place of inspiration (6) organizing your musical materials so that they can save you valuable time and energy and (7) committing to practicing your recital pieces every single day (even if you only have five minutes to invest).
Third, follow the example of the pros by (8) listening to great performances of your songs, (9) recording and reviewing your run-throughs a couple of times per week, (10) performing “mini-recitals” for family and friends, (11) reading inspirational material and (12) visualizing your actual recital performance until you can “see” and “hear” your piano playing success.
When you apply the 12 Secrets of the Piano Recital Checklist, you’ll be amazed by your successful recital performance.
After your great recital accomplishment, you’ll be asking “what’s next?”
Since you play the piano for recreation, you’ll need some help getting back to the
playing piano for fun.
Contact Ed Mascari today to get the inspiration and help you need to energize your musical enjoyment during those lazy-hazy days of summer.
You can choose the perfect solution for you or your child from one of our
6 Flexible Schedule Private Lesson Packages during Summer Session 2008
All lessons include consistent guidance, monitoring and positive reinforcement
in a friendly and comfortable atmosphere.
Ed Mascari will be happy to help you make your summer lessons fun and educational.
Don’t miss this opportunity. It might just be the best investment you’ll ever make.
Lessons start June 25, 2008
Enrollment is limited so reserve your spot today.
Sign up at: www.edmascari.com/programs/summer/