Let’s be honest, performing the piano in front of a live audience can be daunting.
It takes courage and a fighting spirit to perform especially if you perform a difficult piano composition.
The truth is that performing the piano in front of an audience is as much a skill as learning the piano.
Just as you learn how to play the piano by taking lessons, you need to learn how to perform the piano in front of an audience by performing regularly.
The more regularly you perform, the easier performing will become for you.
The key is performing in front of an audience. You need to step out TAKE MASSIVE action and make yourself uncomfortable. (At least initially).
Playing the piano requires extraordinary discipline. Practising your scales, arpeggios, sight-reading and developing your aural skill takes tremendous time and effort.
Often times one forgets that performing live is as much an art as the very act of playing the piano itself.
This is the reason why many people suffer when performing live. They forget it takes practise and repetition just like their piano playing!
The fact is performance is an art and a science. It’s an art as no two performance are ever the same and a science as there is a definite methodology to walking to the piano, sitting down, composing yourself and finally performing the piece. There are numerous techniques that one have to acquire in order to perform at your best. That is the scientific part!
When performing live, you are literally putting yourself under a tremendous amount of pressure, therefore:
-> You need to learn how to shut the audience out and focus on your instrument and the music.
-> You need to learn how to focus under pressure.
-> You need to learn to continue even when you make a few mistakes.
-> You need to excel on the stage!
In due time if you are faithful, you will reap the rewards of your hard work and eventually become less concerned about performing live.
It will take time for you to become the performer you want to become, but with dedication you will most certainly achieve your goals!
There is also an inner game going on inside of yourself, and you need to learn to let go of your critical voice and just focus on performing without judging yourself.
You will then perform in the zone!
Make sure you spend some time thinking about all the aspects of performance before performing again!
Here are a few tips for helping you perform better:
– Work on your psychology more than anything else – i.e. speak to yourself using positive affirmations. Listen to audio clips from Anthony Robbins or Brian Tracy!
– Make sure you REALLY know your material. If you know the score extremely well – you will be more confident. In fact to the degree that you DO NOT KNOW the score to that degree you will probably suffer on stage! Competence builds confidence…
– Dress for the occasion. If you are dressed up you will definitely perform better.
– Make sure you do a ‘dress rehearsal’ in front of a friendly audience before performing in front of the REAL life audience!
– You can perform live at pianos throughout London. We recommend the pianos at St Pancras International station. There you can perform your piece in front of a very friendly audience. (See: http://streetpianos.com/london2012/pianos/st-pancras-station/)
Also lastly, do not be too hard on yourself if you make mistakes.
You will make some for sure and it is a learning process.
Playing the piano is a journey not a destination… The secret is enjoying the journey!
Remember once again performing is as much an art as playing and it needs to be studied!
Ask your instructor to help you with tips and techniques to become a better performer.
In due time if you do not give up but persist, you will become the performer that you have always wanted to become.
Now is the time to take the first step and at least perform at that dress rehearsal!
May you succeed greatly in your piano performance.
If you work at it – SUCCESS IS YOURS!