Ruth's Calendar

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Recital Review: Some thoughts on Preparation and Nerves

Kudos to all the performers on last Friday's violin recitals!  Everyone played beautifully.  It is definitely a huge accomplishment to perform a piece of music in a formal setting for a captive audience, at your best. There are many factors that can affect your concentration, nerves and hence your performance.  Being in a rush, running late to get to the concert can definitely increase your stress and up your heartbeat.  One student forgot her violin resulting in a delayed arrival.  Another family mistakenly went to the wrong recital hall.  Most everyone was there early with family and friends to support them.  The spirit in the room was happy and respectful!

Still, the unfamiliar environment can cause your heart to beat faster, palms to get cold and sweaty, throat to get dry, knees to shake.  The best insurance against the effect of nerves and other stress factors is 200% preparation for the big day.  This includes listening to your violin piece every day for at least 2 weeks before the concert.  While you listen, put the printed music in front of you and pretend it is you playing the recording. Imagine yourself playing every note perfectly.  In your mind feel your fingers landing on all the correct notes, and your bow doing all the correct articulation and dynamics.  Feel confident as you mentally perform and end with a perfect musical finish.  Visualize the music, the printed notes.  You can do this while you are riding in the car going places, or just sitting in a chair quietly at your house, before you actually practice with your violin.  Next, make sure a large part of your practice is done slowly, reinforcing every good technique.  Practice with a metronome at a slow tempo so that you develop your inner beat, then gradually increase the metronome speed to your performance tempo.  Believe in yourself!!   You have a wonderful gift and the concert is an opportunity to share it with others.  Look forward to the recital and decide it will be your very best playing.

Of utmost importance is your rehearsal with the accompanist.  Do as much rehearsal as you can with your accompanist.  He or she is your best friend and partner in this concert.  Knowing your solo violin part is not enough to insure a solid performance in the recital.  You must know how it sounds with the piano, and be comfortable playing with the piano.  Work carefully and thoroughly with your accompanist.  Playing with the violin CD is not necessarily a good substitute for a rehearsal.  Often the CD is faster than your performance tempo and it certainly won't adjust to your ritardandos and other subtle tempo changes.  Fortunately with today's technology you can easily record yourself playing with the accompanist and practice with that audio file.

Finally, on the recital day make sure you have eaten a healthy snack before you perform, not a big meal. Save the party for afterwards!  Drink water water water and avoid sodas.  Good performance foods are bananas, a few crackers and string cheese, half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or a granola bar.  Avoid candy--it is straight sugar and will not calm your nerves!  Breathe slowly and deeply to calm your heartbeat.  Close one nostril and breathe in with slow controlled even breath.  Then do the same with the other nostril..  Wash your hands in warm water and take advantage of the warm-up room to play out a few jitters.  You may even practice quietly in the warm-up room a couple of numbers before it is your turn.  Just come back into the recital hall at least one number before yours.  At the end of your awesome violin performance don't forget to bow and smile at the audience.  You did this for them and they love you for it!

Godfrey Violin Students are fantastic!!! Thank you for playing for us.

Sincerely, Miss Ruth  

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Fall Recitals

This Friday October 11 we will be having our Fall Recitals.

They will be held at Summerhays Music Recital Hall, 5450 Green Street in Murray, UT.  The first program is at 5:30pm and the second at 7pm.  Jules Snarr is our accompanist.  When you enter the building you will turn left and go downstairs to the recitals.  If you can bring a treat to share for refreshments, that would be lovely.
Click on the link below to locate the venue.

Directions to Summerhays