The night before your recital, particularly if you tend to have performance anxiety, can be a rather nerve-wracking evening. What are some ways to help prepare yourself for the performance? Check out the following do’s and don’ts as you look forward to the big day:
- Stay up late with friends, watching movies, reading books, talking, etc. You definitely need a really good night’s sleep to be able to concentrate fully during your performance the following day.
- Schedule another event right before or right after your recital. The last thing you want to have to be concerned about is making it on time to additional events!
- Over practice. It’s easy to get nervous and practice and practice…and practice. Be sure to practice well in preparation the weeks before and then maybe play through your pieces a few times the day of the performance. As hard as it is, you definitely don’t want to be running through your pieces an hour before you walk on stage. If you absolutely must do something, try doing some mental practice–visually looking through the scores or visualizing different sections in your mind.
- Leave late. On the day of the recital, make sure to leave with plenty of time to spare for anything unexpected. Arriving last minute does little good for someone already feeling nervous.
- Forget to breath. This applies both to the time before the recital a well as during the performance! Instead of focusing on playing everything perfectly, step back and relax. Enjoy the opportunity to share your gift with others. Breath deeply and simply love the moments.
- Confirm you recital date, time, and place with your teacher prior to your recital. You don’t want to show up at the wrong time or in the wrong place!
- Have everything you need for the recital (i.e. books, clothes, shoes, etc) set out and ready to go the night before
- Make a list of everything to bring with you to the recital (i.e. music, instrument, stand, etc) so you can double check yourself before you head out the door the following day.
- Invite your family and friends to come and join you!
- On the day of the recital, remember to take some time to collect your thoughts and calm your nerves before you start playing. There’s no rush to start!
- Plan a party afterwards with your family and friends. You’ve worked hard to get to this point…now it’s time to celebrate.
Playing in front of people can be a little scary for anyone. Don’t let yourself become too wrapped up in flurry of the performance. Step back and enjoy the time for what it is–an opportunity for you to perform to your best ability in front of those who love and care for you more than anyone else!