When your child has a music concert or recital coming up, there are some things that you can do at home to help prepare them. These few things will make it much more likely that they will have a successful and enjoyable experience performing in front of a live audience.
Memorize the Piece
There is nothing that prepares your child better than knowing their song inside and out, backward and forward, front and back. Here are some ways to know if they are totally prepared to play in front of a live audience. They can play their song:
At least once from memory
With 1 or 0 mistakes (with or without music)
With their eyes closed
If they are playing with another person, you’ll want to make sure that they practice together at least once before the actual performance. Two or three times is even better.
Watch One First
If your child has never performed before (and even if they have), it’s a really good idea to watch a performance first. If you can attend one at the actual venue that your child is going to be playing at, that will help you and your child get a feel for what it will be like when it’s your child’s turn to perform.
Do a Living Room Concert
Do two or three. Pretend there is a stage and have a live audience of a few family members. Have your child dress up in the clothes they will be performing in. Practice everything – their entrance to the “stage”, playing their piece, and the applause that happens from the audience after they play.
Have them practice making mistakes and know what to do when that happens. Encourage them to not sweat it – just pick a spot and keep playing. 99.9% of the time, no one in the audience will even know that it happened. Letting go of a mistake and moving on is also a great life skill that they are learning in this process too!
Perform for a Small Audience
Now that you’ve had the living room concert, it’s time for your child to play in front of a small, but bigger audience and space than the living room. Performing for a youth group or playing for their class at school are good ways of creating this slightly bigger audience.
Go For It!
If you’ve done all the above things and it went well, it’s time to just go for it and perform for a bigger audience! “Courage comes after the jump” and playing music in front of people is no different. A lot of kids have no fear (especially before they hit the middle & high school years) so you might not encounter any nervousness.
But if your child is a little nervous, let them know that is a good thing and it’s actually a feeling they want to have. It means they want to do well and their body is preparing to help them do a great job. Let them know that no matter what happens, they have worked hard, they know their stuff, and you are totally proud of them. Arriving at the venue a little early will help so you’re not feeling rushed to park and get settled in.
Do you have any questions I can help with about helping your child with performances? Click here and let me know!