For Parents, Teachers, Students, and Performers
The Annual Holiday Concert/Recital: Tricks for Controlling Nervousness
It’s that season again, where snow brings carols and holiday recitals to everywhere from the mall to concert halls. Nervousness is common before a performance, but here are some helpful tricks for preparing for the occasion so you can keep the season cheery!
Wear comfortable clothing! Comfortable clothing doesn’t have to mean sweats. If starched shirts or scratchy, frilly dresses aren’t typical Sunday fare, performing in them could become an ordeal. Choose clothing well ahead of the performance date so that it can look nice but still be comfortable from shoe to bow. Make necessary alterations or buy shoes in advance so they can be broken in. Then feel AND look awesome!
Partnership can help the first-time performer. Going onstage in front of a crowd for the first time can be daunting for some. If anxiety has refusal digging in its heels, it’s time for Plan B. Rather than suffering through unnecessary stress, find a partner for the occasion. This can be either someone who performs just before/right after, or a person who performs the same piece. There is power in teamwork.
Practice with the equipment before the performance! If microphones have not been part of the practicing process, they can become a source of embarrassment. Microphone squealing or feedback causes an obvious and immediate reaction from the audience, which can ruin confidence quickly. Be sure to learn basic microphone techniques. Practice in the venue before the performance if possible, and use the equipment that will be set up that night. Pianos, microphones, and speakers sound can sometimes feel different, so prior knowledge of the sound and feel of the location will help ease fears and lessen surprises.
Special Trick for Singers:
Proper stance is key. Knowing where hands and feet go is just as essential as knowing the piece backwards and forwards. Wandering hands can distract the performer as well as the audience. Feet too far apart or side by side create a wobbling effect, and locked knees cause the performer to pass out. Feet slightly apart, with one foot a little in front of the other, steadies the performer in place without looking awkward. Hands should be at the sides. (One trick to avoid subconscious movement is to make sure the thumbs are gently touching the thighs.)
Be early. There is nothing worse than the feeling of rushing and panic right before an event. Avoid unknown issues by planning for extra prep and drive time. Leave early in case of traffic, problematic directions, or last minute delays. Keep the day’s schedule open beforehand, and enjoy the time to sit back and relax upon arrival if everything goes well.
Have a personal cheerleader in the stands! Everyone needs that special someone to say supportive things when the going gets tough. Best friend, family member, or anyone who can make the day seem brighter is a great cheerleader to bring along! By having someone to perform for, the performer can stop focusing on strangers and stay focused on that person who will cheer loudest at the end.
Breathe! Peter Pan was right: Think happy thoughts! Deep breathing techniques and thinking happy thoughts actually bring clarity to the mind. In order to prepare for the performance, find positive things to focus on. If worry rears its head, measured breathing can bring focus back. Remember that music is FUN!
When choosing a piece: Perform something meaningful. Often, performance pieces are chosen by directors or instructors. When the chance comes to choose the piece, the performer should explore works that highlight strong skill, talent and personality. Simple pieces can be as effective as difficult ones when performed with these combined assets. The deeper the performer can tap into the piece, the more moved the audience will be.
Remember the audience is rooting for you! When you are having a good time, so are they. Relax and enjoy the ride. One of the best parts of performing, after all, is making musical memories.
Wishing you the best holiday season,
Riverton Music Helps Davis High School Marching Band Get to New York
November 17, 2017
Christian Thompson, of Riverton Music, presents Davis High Marching Band a check for $2,268.44 to help fund their trip to New York for the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
Pictured from left: Steven Hendricks, Emma Blake, Mike Crookston, Christian Thompson
“When I found out that Davis High’s Marching Band had the honor of marching in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, I knew we wanted to help. This trip is an honor that current students and alumni can be very proud of,” said Ken Jensen, Store Manager of Riverton Music’s Clearfield location. A fundraiser sale was organized at the school, and as a result, $2,268.44 was raised to help fund the trip.
According to www.marching.com, Davis High is one of the top marching bands in the state. The marching band began in 1920, two years after the school opened, and since then, they have marched in Portland Oregon’s “Rose Parade” twice, but this will be the first time they have ever marched in the Macy’s Parade.