Many piano teachers organise piano recitals for their pupils and these may take place in a school or in a teacher’s house, the list of possibilities is nearly endless . For piano pupils these are useful platforms to try out pieces. It might be for an exam, a competition, for experience of playing in front of people or just for fun.
All the piano teachers I know are keen to make these events fun and informal, but for young performers these events can be quite daunting, even for a more experienced pupil. A strategy on how to approach these events might be useful. This post is for all you young (and perhaps not so young) performers getting ready to play in a concert.
A few tips on how to approach your Piano Recital Performance
- Start preparing for the concert early. Not so early that you get bored or so late that you have a last minute panic.
- Take your time. Learn your piece steadily and thoroughly.
- Select your music carefully. Do you enjoy playing this piece? Have you spent enough time with this piece?
- Discuss options with your teacher.
- Are you comfortable with the level of difficulty? I have found from my own playing and from teaching that choosing a piece that is a little easier than currently being learnt works best.
- Make sure you know all the details in the piece such as tempo, articulation, dynamics and expression marks. These will help you to present a more characterful performance.
- Having a practice time-table can be useful.
- Work on difficult sections first.
- Try to think what you would like to achieve in each practice. Practice every day.
- Things that can get overlooked: Is your piano in tune? Is lighting good at the piano? Are you free from distractions?
- Organise your copy of the music. Practice page turns, if you need to use a photocopy to avoid a page turn, get it organised as soon as possible.
- If you are playing more than one piece, do get used to playing them through as a complete programme.
- It can be useful (and revealing) to record your practice. Become your own teacher!
- Play to family and friends as a practice concert. This is a great way to overcome nerves.
- As pianists, we never get to perform on our own instruments. Try out your piece on different pianos this will help when playing a different piano in concert.
- Most of all, enjoy the preparation process and enjoy your performance.
I hope this is of help to all you performers and hope you will want to carry on and play even more. If you have any tips you would like to share, or some of your concert experiences please send them to me: firstname.lastname@example.org