Performing in public is totally different from performing on your own, or in front of your piano instructor. It requires some specific skills which must be practised as often as any other.
It is proven that the level of competency of an individual would definitely be affected while performing for an audience, so it is why it is imperative to be well prepared.
Stage fright is a common phenomenon that touches all performers, and pianists should not be in shame of admitting that they suffer from it. Depending on the individual, it could include tremor in the hands, pounding heart and sweaty hands. Being anxious before a performance is normal, and understandable. It is famous that even the greatest pianists deal with performance anxiety.
Being well prepared would greatly reduce the symptoms and help you perform at the best of your abilities.
A piece that is practised to be played in public must be extremely well known, as being aware of listeners could reduce your concentration, and truly distract you. Some individuals who are not used to play for an audience even say that they feel like they do not know anything anymore while seating at the piano before starting the performance. This exaggerated comment is not completely false, if you are not prepared at 120%!
We now understand that getting used to playing in public and learning how to prepare a performance is a significant part of any solid piano education.
At The London Piano Institute, all our pupils are encouraged to participate in our quarterly music evenings, even if they have played the piano for a few months only. I would like to insist on the word “encouraged” as playing during these events is obviously optional, but certainly motivating and always gratifying.
We are pleased to be able to offer this amazing opportunity to our students, as it is a rare privilege for non-professional pianists to be given the chance to play in public in a non-judgmental and friendly environment.
All of our students enjoy these events tremendously. Firstly because performing a piece especially prepared for the occasion gives them an incredible sense of achievement, and secondly because they love meeting their piano colleagues on a regular basis.
Once mastered, performing in public is an extraordinary experience which can be immensely rewarding, so I would recommend any pianist to embrace the opportunity to do so as often as it arises.