So, you’ve signed up for a recital. While the thought of performing solo in front of a crowd can be daunting, there are ways to overcome your nerves. Very few people have the guts on stage to perform solo, but you’re one of those people. We can tell!
We’ve put together this list of tips and tricks to help you rock your performance, may it be a college recital, state ensemble solo, orchestra, solo with piano, unaccompanied solo, or a concerto with a band.
We asked experts at The Young Musician Music Institute (TYMMI) to share their experiences with us before creating this list. Our goal is simple: to help you execute a performance you’ll feel good about. Sometimes, it’s not about playing perfectly or pleasing your parents (although that’ll surely happen). However, the solo performance shouldn’t be just to get through the song to get off the stage as quickly as possible. You need to buckle up, take a deep breath, and enjoy each moment because, rest assured, performing in front of a live audience is going to be one of the biggest rushes you’ll ever get! Now let’s start with the list of tips to help you prepare to rock your first solo recital.
Select Your Song
Work with an experienced music teacher to pick a song that excites you. Ask them whether they think this song would be easy for you to learn to play with confidence. Don’t pick something easy enough to make you feel bored. Find a challenging song, devote time and effort listening to it, and then practice it with the pros at your music school.
Chunk and Chain To MemoriseThe Song
Break the entire song into smaller chunks before memorising each chunk. Then start chaining those chunks together to put the entire piece together. Remember: practice at least six days a week for half an hour each day. Chunk by chunk, you’ll soon be able to learn all the parts of the song you’re working on.
Start Practicing Slowly and Correctly
Once you’ve begun memorising the piece, start practicing it slow. It’s often more challenging to play a piece slow. Playing a song fast can hide the mistakes in the speed.
Practice Starts at Different Points in The Song
Start at the chorus, start in the middle, pick random parts, and then play until the end. This helps build confidence in the song so that you can pick up from anywhere if you get stuck during your performance. It’s okay to make mistakes as long as you make efforts to practice recovering from them.
Rehearse Your Introduction
For some, introducing themselves before the performance can be the scariest part. Not to worry! Your fears will shrink when you practice it day in and day out. All you need to do is tell them your name and your song’s title. However, you can have fun and get creative if you feel like it. Keeping it simple or letting your personality show; it’s up to you.
Practice with Distractions
Part of the thrill of live solo recitals is not knowing what might happen—people sneezing, babies crying, lights flickering, and the sound systems feeding back. Any of these can throw even the best of performers off their groove. Practice with creative distractions and interruptions until you’re comfortable completing the piece, no matter what.
Rehearse it With Audience
Once you have your song down, perform it in front of a small audience to calm your jitters. Friends, family, people from your music lesson studio, get anyone to hear and see you perform. Ask them to provide honest feedback to help you get the last 10% improvement to take your performance from a B to an A+!
Dress For Success
Think all the details of your performance a few days before the D-day. What you’re going to eat, what you’re going to wear, and so on. Visualizing everything is a great way to prepare your mind for a memorable performance. Choose a formal attire a to exude a professional yet chic look for grabbing your audience’s attention. Make sure this winning outfit and shoes you choose are comfortable. Wearing your performance shows during rehearsals is an excellent way to get used to them.
Get Plenty Of Rest Before the Big Day
Lack of sleep can be exhausting. Focusing gets difficult when you’re tired. Make sure you get plenty of rest before the recital so that you feel ready and focused. Without focus, your nerves might feel agitated, your mind can wander elsewhere, and the body also won’t function as seamlessly as it normally does. Having a relaxing, restful sleep before the final recital is key to giving your best performance.
Choose Healthy Snacks
You don’t want your stomach to grumble in the middle of your performance. Preparation isn’t only about practising and leaving enough time to reach the location; it also includes ensuring your body is well-nourished. Choose foods that give you plenty of fuel to remain active so that you can deliver a performance as fabulous as you are!
Excited? We can tell! But don’t forget to pace yourself when performing. Rushing the music can cause you to feel uncomfortable or make mistakes throughout the recital. It can also cause you to lose focus, so go slow, take your time to relax, and take deep breaths. Let the music come out naturally without forcing yourself to rush.
Don’t Forget To Enjoy Yourself
The culmination of several weeks of dedication and hard work makes a performance good. But enjoying each moment to the fullest is what makes the thrill worth it. Soak in each memorable moment as you prepare for many more to come.
If you’ve got a recital coming up or this blog got you all excited to sign up for one, you should check out the variety of music courses offered at The Young Musician Music Institute. Their international musiclessons help young musicians find their footing in the music field. They are a team of renowned, award-winning musicians providing music courses for beginners and musical instrument lessons, including guitar lessons, piano lessons, drums lessons, violin lessons, vocal lessons, singing lessons, and more.
Team TYMMI strives to refine your skills and polish your talent in our music classes. They also offer guidance for rock & pop graded exams, performance master classes, and trinity music courses, along with toddler music lessons and singing classes in Abu Dhabi, UAE.Dhabi, UAE.
Now that you’ve dreamt big, it’s time to achieve it! Reach out to them to learn more about their music certification courses or music classes in UAE.
About The Author
The author is a music journalist who specialises in rock, pop, classical, and various other music genres. He learned to play the guitar at The Young Musician Music Institute and is now enrolled in their drum music class. He writes informative articles and blogs for the music school and attends concerts of his favourite musicians in his free time.