How to Perform Piano for an Audience
If you are learning to play
piano, you are most likely interested in performing for an audience. Playing for others can be an
enjoyable experience and will give your something to work towards.
It is a great goal for any beginner. Unfortunately, many individuals suffer from performance anxiety, often
known as stage fright.
To overcome this irrational fear, you must remember your three P’s: preparation, planning, and presence.
Practicing these simple steps will eliminate any anxiety prior to a recital and help you focus your attention.
Feeling prepared before and during a performance will drastically help you to manage and decrease your anxiety
levels. If you do not give yourself enough time prior to the recital to practice and properly memorize the musical
piece, you will not feel confident on stage.
Depending on your ability to cram information and practices a few days prior to your recital will create a messy
and poor performance. You must have a proper understanding of its structure, form and harmonics to successfully
portray its message.
If you do not take your time to master musical pieces prior to performance date, you will be poorly prepared and
have to deal with its consequences on stage. If you are in control of your music, you will surely be in control of
In order to obtain this control, you will need to have a thorough
knowledge of its harmonic structure, the formation and intervals.
With careful practice, you will be able to understand the structure of any musical piece.
Finding the underlining message behind any musical piece will help you to understand its goal. Research the
composer and attempt to understand his signature style and cultural impact. This will clarify the composer’s
intention, providing you with perfect insight of the underlining message.
Begin the memorization process once you understand its technical construction. You have memorized a song when
you can play it without a sheet of music. Once you have reached this stage, you will have to perfect any flaws.
The days leading up to a recital are very important. You have practiced and memorized your song; therefore
excessive practice will not be required. Practice will still be necessary, but in a relaxed and confident manner,
focusing your attention on conveying musical ideas.
You are trying to convey your ideas in a controlled fashion while polishing technical aspects during these
practice sessions. Focusing during practice will help you develop a sense of presence.
These steps will ultimately support you to overcome overbearing sensations of stage fright. Remember to get
enough sleep and rest prior to your performance. Cramming for hours the day before or the day of the performance
will not prove beneficial. You will over work yourself and you will be too tired.
A great way to practice for a recital is to present in front of others multiple times prior to performance date.
This will give you a sense of how you feel in front of others, preparing yourself for the recital. Remember:
preparation, planning, and presence are all you need in order to succeed.