Its never too late to prepare for a performance.
Your child may have put off practising until now…I know I did as a child.
There’s nothing like the last minute jitters to get you going!
At last you intend to iron out those long standing mistakes that have been plaguing you for weeks.
However there’s more to preparation than just practising as you will see when you read the 3 Quick Tips below.
These tips are easy to apply and you don’t have to know anything special about your child’s music to help them get through the final few weeks before the performance. These tips are especially helpful if this is your child’s first public performance as is the case for many Music Matters students.
Embrace the nerves:
Help your child to know that nerves are normal and necessary if they are about to do anything of importance. Its not just the fear of making a mistake, that brings on the nerves, its knowing that your contribution to the event matters and you want to put your best foot forward. You only get once chance to do it right.
Chat openly about the possibility and probability of nerves rising in your child’s stomach. Talk frankly about times you have felt nervous before an important event and how you handled the situation. Ask your child if they have felt the fluttery butterfly feeling before. Remind them that after they have performed, the butterflies simply fly away, which is proof that they were there only to help them play their very best.
The nervous feeling is quite uncomfortable and can be enough to prevent students from “having a go”. Playing at music concerts is a great way to help your child gain the confidence they need to tackle more important nerve-producing challenges later in life. The uncomfortable feelings will not last, but students need to be reminded of this.
Sit with your child as they practise:
Some parents already do this as a regular support because their children may be too young to practise alone.
However you will find that even older teenagers love to have the physical support of Mum or Dad listening close by for the practises leading up to a performance. Your child relies on you emotionally, to reinforce that their playing is ok to listen to.
Every time your child plays their music just for you, a mini-concert is being produced. Students who regularly “perform” in this way find it much easier to perform in front of others.
It is a huge leap to play on your own and then in front of a crowd of strange faces.
I remember my Dad lying on the lounge after work as I practised my examination pieces. He would say: ” I love hearing you play…you are going to do very well.” What a great gift of encouragement from a father to his daughter!
Talk about bringing and bring the whole family to the performance:
Chatting about who will be at the concert may seem like a small issue to you but to your child, it is extremely important. Let them know that they will be surrounded by family and friends. This will give them added incentive to practise more diligently in the weeks leading up to their performance.
Your child will not longer be playing to a crowd of unknown faces if Mum, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, older sister and Auntie Kate are all there.
Bring as many familiar faces as you can to support your child’s amazing effort.
If you do not have any extended family, as was the case when my children were in Primary School, then invite one of their playmates from school, or a friend of yours who they know well.
Good luck with the Quick Tips and see you on November 15th!