Daily piano learning and playing or your own love and interest for this instrument is the first and most crucial step in your journey of becoming an amateur pianist but then why to consider playing for public and performing at various events? The benefits of performing in front of public whether casual with a small group of people or a formal recital for a large gathering are immeasurable. Piano technique is never really acquired unless you demonstrate it in front of public. Not only for professionals but these public performances offer many fundamental benefits to young learners.
Benefits of Playing Piano at a Public Event:
- Self-motivation is at its peak when you prepare for a recital.
- You become more focused and serious with this result-oriented approach.
- You try your best to eliminate all mistakes and learn everything accurately.
Key to Success in Public Performances!
Here is a simple key that would lead to successful performances:
Nervousness and stage fright are common especially among youngsters. The key is to learn to ignore nervousness and handle stage fright and concentrate only on playing piano while having a pleasant experience on stage.
Tips to Successful Public Piano Playing:
Here are some tips that would aid you in delivering a flawless public performance:
- Basic Requirement: The basic requirement for successfully playing piano at a public event is that you must have done adequate technical preparation with focus also on musical interpretation. Along with that comes, managing a good performance practice routine. These elements along with other factors would combine to guarantee a perfect public performance.
- Practice at a Slightly Slower Speed: Practicing at a pace slightly slower than regular speed allows you to get more accuracy and a clearer picture of a piece. It restricts you from getting used to of unexpected mistakes/bad habits and gives your hands more control and enhanced technique of playing. As you will play slightly faster in your performance than the speed used for practice, you will be able to bring out more expressions with the same composition and will make it sound even more exciting in front of public.
- Practice & Improve Musicality:
- Bars/measures/phrases are not independent but they should connect, logically flow and support each other.
- Rhythmic and conceptual connection is important. Your right hand and left hand must also be consciously connected and must converse with each other.
- Begin slowly and softly and reserve some end space for action. Wait for the last moment to through the flow exponentially in the air and your performance will be more effective.
- Use the metronome to keep a check on rhythm and timing.
- Listen to your own practice and that way you will have a feedback cycle continuously moving along. Take the lead.
- Start Easy with Casual Performances: Casual performances are different than formal public recitals. They give pianists more freedom and reduced stress. You get the freedom of picking and playing anything that you find suitable for that moment and can make any changes. You can begin with playing simple and small snippets.
- Pick simple sections that sounds best.
- Pick right snippets for occasions.
- Experiment with speeds.
- Watch your tone.
- Keep track of audience reaction.
- Control nervousness.
- Take over and cover up mistakes.
- Remember good parts, forget mistakes.
Take this avenue of casual performance as an opportunity for preparation of recitals for formal public events.
- Preparation Routines for Public Event: Try simulating the situation of performing at a public event in the area where you practice. Think that you have audience in front of you. Settle down and keep yourself calm. Open up your music score book and before beginning take a deep breath. Play the entire piece. Even if you make a mistake, try finishing the entire piece and keep reminding yourself that you are not alone; there are audience in front of you. Repeat this practice routine often and it will give you more confidence. With each practice session, you will improve parts and it will give you a realization that even if you make a mistake; you can complete and play what you have intended to play. Making a mistake is no end of the world and audience may not even be able to catch that mistake.
Tips to Remember for the Day of Performance!
- Do Not Exert Yourself. Do not keep a tight leash on your performance.
- Do not overdo it. The idea is to limit the amount of practice.
- Keep your mind fresh.
- Do not try anything new as your brain would be completely unreceptive and anything different/new may only result in confusion.
- Mistakes can happen and assuming that there will be no mistakes on the day would only leave you feeling terrible if a mistake happens.
- If possible, practice at the event venue at least once before the actual event day.
- Handling an unfamiliar piano should not be your area of worry unless you get an inferior one to play at the event. Usually instruments at the events are grand and they are easier to play than their inferior ones. Larger pianos would result in larger sound and more action that would make your performance even more interesting.
- Check for tuning of the piano before recital. If in case it is out of tune, it is suggested that you play a bit faster and louder.
Professional pianists who have experience and expertise of performing should be able to perform anything however for young learners, the skill of performing at public events flawlessly would be earned with continuously exposing themselves to performing beginning from causal small gathering to public events. It requires honing a proper preparation routine and knowledge of rules that eventually leads to better performances.