Performance is a presentation of how you and your child have practiced and what you’ve focused on.
It’s a chance for them to show off their hard work and dedication! Performing can also be a bit intimidating, but with good preparation every child can give a great performance!
Every time your child plays, they are training their body and mind - not only when they’re explicitly preparing for a performance. Many students like to noodle around on their instruments, but if they do so with a weak tone, they are teaching their body to continue to play that way. If students learn instead to plan on a beautiful tone every time they play, it will become a natural part of their technique!
Phrasing and musicality deserve repetitions as well as more obvious aspects of music like pitch and rhythm. Be sure to work these things into practice spots and section work. A good way to begin introducing these ideas into practice is talking through the phrasing and shape of the piece with your child. It will help them feel ownership of the music, and they’ll gain a clearer picture of the overarching plan of the piece.
Another way to prepare for performances while practicing is to remind your child of the dynamics and articulations in their review piece before they begin playing. Practice all aspects of the piece, including rests and performance tempo! When repeating practice spots, incorporate dynamics and phrasing into at least some of the repetitions. Above all, consistency is key! If your child always plays the crescendos, staccatos, et cetera, they will continue to do so even with an audience.
- Shannon Jansma, published in the January 2017 issue of the Ann Arbor Suzuki Institute newsletter