Playing music is such a personal experience. Performing is taking that personal experience and sharing it with any number of people. If you have the desire to share your work, your progress, your art, then you will love and seek out any avenue to do so. Sure, the first few performances could be rough or scary, but it will definitely be thrilling! You might walk off stage wondering WHAT just happened and why it felt so short. And then...you can't wait to do it again! If you don't find this desire to perform your music, try it anyway. Performing is a life changing experience AND a skill to learn and practice, benefiting many aspects of a successful education and career.
- Be beyond prepared. Become your music.
We sight read our music, we listen to it, we play through it hundreds of times and we begin to understand it. We memorize our songs and play it comfortably in our own practice space at home. I tell my students that memorizing their music is the first step in playing it and we celebrate that feat. It's not easy. However, now it's time to make music and move beyond reciting the notes. Play your music at various tempi, play in different environments, in different acoustics, play with your eyes closed, play while your younger sibling wrestles with a 10x10 sheet of paper behind you. In other words, test yourself, find distractions and you will quickly find your weak points. This will make obvious to you what needs to be worked on and that you can focus on your music, becoming your music, not matter what is happening around you.
- It's music, not math. It's human, not machine.
Despite our teachings about ratios and note values, technique and control, music is not math. In any art, we purposefully attempt to master these techniques, giving us freedom, the ability to express ourselves in our music. And then, we try to put all this behind us and just make music. Through this technique we so diligently practice we put ourselves, our experiences together and make it your music. Whether you are playing popular pieces or your own compositions, no other musician will play it the same way you do.
- Perform and repeat. Often.
Practice makes progress and the same goes for performance. You will have great and humbling experiences with each performance. There are communities around all of us that love to hear live music and are always delighted to enjoy your talent. Play your music, share your art, and believe in your music. You will find your audiance and they will remember you.
Contributed by Michael Zollinger, classical guitar instructor. email@example.com
Michael earned his Bachelor of Music degree in Classical Guitar Performance from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music in 2005. He as been teaching music and guitar since 2000 and joined the Metro Music Makers staff in 2007. Michael is a licensed massage therapist and graduate of the Academy of Somatic Healing Arts. He owns the therapeutic service company, Hands on Life.