Developing practice skills are of paramount importance in our personal and musical growth. However, there is another level of practice that is often overlooked in the studio. That is: practicing performing.
I have spent many years practicing and practicing to then get on stage to perform and finding that I’m unable to sing the way I had practiced. It wasn’t until recently, when I began my graduate studies, that I realized what was missing. I needed to not only practice my technique, but to practice trusting my technique under pressure and without needing to use my entire focus to do so. After all, when performing there are many distractions, such as: the audience, shaking legs, the sudden worry that you have forgotten every word to your song, sweat pooling in your palms, etc. etc.
To practice performing, set aside 2-3 minutes in each practice session devoted to turning off your practice focus and simply perform that phrase or page of music you have just worked on. Also, utilize every opportunity to practice performing in front of your friends and family. This will help you build a tolerance to those distractions and nervous feelings of performing in front of others.
Each performance is an opportunity to practice trusting the work you have done. It is an opportunity to learn more about yourself and to share your work and passion with others.
– Sarah Neely, B.M., Voice Instructor