Learning to Perform
Focused preparation and practice are required to get a piece to the point where the performer is ready to present it to an audience. Within music lessons, students learn the techniques required to play their instrument, learn a piece of music and also learn rehearsal skills and performance skills.
By encouraging our children to perform, we are empowering their self confidence and we provide them an opportunity to celebrate their success. We provide opportunities for them to analyse, think critically and think creatively. Music performance provides an educational experience where children learn to present themselves in a professional, dedicated and focused manner. In order to perform effectively, students must be prepared and focused on the task at hand.
This week, it was rewarding to see the smiles of students and parents as a number of our students experienced performing for the very first time. Performance is an exciting experience that allows us to visibly see how our students are demonstrating personal growth and it allows us to stop and celebrate their success at learning an instrument.
In lessons, we have been discussing the distinct differences between performing for an audience and playing to rehearse. When learning to perform, students are encouraged to be an actor/actress who maintains a steady face throughout errors. Students are reminded of the goal to play from the start of the piece until the end of the piece in performance situations. In contrast to rehearsing where students are encouraged to analyse the piece, pull it apart into sections, recognise similarities and differences, and practise it in smaller chunks. I encourage students to practise smaller chunks of the piece before playing the whole piece or section in context. Often in rehearsal situations, we are the only listener and we need to practise the piece using the correct technique and skills while aiming for accuracy and consistency. Remember, using our time effectively during practise sessions at home and in lessons enables us to present our performances with confidence.