All of you musicians out there know that these are some of the most nerveracking experiences known to man (and woman, thank you very much :P). Here are some tips to keep that from blowing your top.
1. Always have a drink with you. I would recommend water, but if you must, gatorade works as well. NO SODA! I repeat, NO SODA! There are two things wrong with this before an event like this- one, it will dehydrate you, which is never good for intense concentration. Two- you know that certain kind of sugar high you get from drinking a soda? Well, you get hyper, then that feeling suddenly drops, and you’re worn out. You know that feeling that you did ok on an audition or performance? Well, if you think about it, that’ll go away after your energy plumetts. And discouragement AFTER an audition is even worse than during.
2. Be comfortable. Don’t put on your highest heels or your tightest shirt. Keep your hair out of your face too, especially if you’re playing an instrument where your hair could interfere (like me with a cello for instance…). Keep it simple. Girls- earrings are a distraction too. Keep it simple.
3. Be prepared. Have your piece and anything else you need ready as far away from the date of your event as possible. This gives you a bit of breathing room, giving you some extra confidence.
4. Be at your location on time. There’s nothing worse than feeling rushed to center into your piece.
5. Don’t practice too much the day of your performance. Practicing too much minutes before can make you nervous and frustrated, especially if you’re missing things. Just run through some essential parts, and you’ll be good.
6. Make sure that everything you’ll need in your location or room is prepared. Strings players- make sure your bow is rosined (and tightened for that matter), your tuning is good, and that your sheet music is ready.
7. Just have fun with it! As my orchestra teacher says, play as if it were your last time. Play from inside. That’s what changes notes on a page to music.
These tips have helped me tremendously the last few performances that I’ve done… and when I don’t do a few of the steps, I regret it in the end ;-). But all of you musicians out there- keep playing that music!