The Heart of Performance

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“Music is a performing art….It isn’t there in the score.”

Michael Tippett, Composer

Welcome Back!! I hope all of our musicians had an awesome holiday break. I would like to congratulate all our students who had performed in our December concerts. When I think about all that goes into preparing for a concert, performing can seem like a delicate skill. I do not think there is a “perfect” time for us to feel ready to perform. But I am convinced that performing can be as natural as having a conversation. And most important it is not only for the professional musician. Even beginners can perform confidently provided the task is simple, the situation friendly and their intentions are wholesome. If performance is one of the goals of music study then performance skills should be woven into our weekly lessons .Deferring performance for later or once students are ready is nonsense!!

I’d like to share some of my personal preferences to make a performance run smoothly. Preparing well involves practicing all the technical and artistic parts of the piece. As I practice I imagine that I am performing on an appointed stage. If the concert is at 8 pm one week later then I practice at the same time. Imagination of the performance works well in terms of emotional and physical facets. I eat well (veggies make me feel the best!!) and strive to have a good diet. Having a banana 30 min before your performance makes you calm!!

On  the concert day I am at the theatre at least one hour before the performance preparing equipment, materials, checking my instrument , acoustics etc. I know that any uncertainty near the performance will create a breeding ground of anxiety and poor performance. This is a game of focus with no distractions on stage.

I encourage everyone to take the leap and perform!

I would like to leave you with two wonderful quotes:

“Every performance is different, that’s the beauty of it.Van Morrison, singer and songwriter.

I don’t say that I never feel fear before a performance, but I have learned to channel it” Claudio Arrau, pianist.

 

Mingmei Xu is a violin teacher at Edmonton Academy of Music as well as a Violinst who performs regularly.

 

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