This Week

This week:

- We enjoyed several sunny, warm days and afternoons with the windows open. - I made banana pudding for the first time. - We got a little carried away and tried to grill out one night. (We gave up and cooked inside once it got cold enough to see our breath.) - I attended an awesome branding webinar that got me all kinds of fired up for the months to come. - We gave an informal lecture recital to an audience of almost thirty enthusiastic listeners (recap coming soon!). - I encountered a few instances of plagiarism in my students’ papers.  Though struggling with how to deal with it, I am determined to turn this into a teaching opportunity. - We finished our federal tax return. - I introduced SD to the (southern?) expression, “Land sakes alive.” - We haven’t driven the car since Saturday!  Boy is it nice to work from home. - I celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with my children’s choir by teaching them Irish hymns and two Irish group dances! - I got the latest Elle Decor in the mail and I plan on carving out some time this weekend to skim through it! - We had some awesome teaching moments. - We spent some time preparing for our WCMW webinar next Monday, March 19!  Sign up here – it’s free!

Happy weekend, friends!

Preparing to Perform

This past weekend, Steve and I held a joint studio recital (our first!) at the church.  We had almost a dozen students sign up to participate and we've spent the past several weeks of lessons trying to prepare them to perform (for many, this was a first).


How do we prepare to perform?  We do warm-ups, technical exercises, and breathing exercises (for saxophone players, that is!); we practice pedaling in our shoes; we learn how to sit properly, stand properly, bow properly; we practice bringing our hands up to the keyboard and away at the end of a piece; we practice from memory; we perform in front of others; we strive to keep going no matter what happens.  I think this last item is one of the more difficult ones.  Our initial, natural response seems to be to freeze - as if to think, "Did anyone hear that?"

After many recital experiences of my own (including my 2nd grade horror story of completely blanking on Minuet 2), I feel as if I learn something new about myself each time.  There's only so much one can do to prepare for something.  Preparing to perform is no different.  As a teacher, I try to instill confidence, teach professionalism, train memory skills, and encourage students to be the best they can be.  Though, isn't it true that until we experience that rush of excitement and nerves and the flutter of muscles while playing (I have many stories of shaky hands and jittery legs), we don't fully know how to prepare to perform?  For many, myself included, it's a face-to-face confrontation with fear.  It's not about being perfect and not making any mistakes.  It's about communicating with others, sharing music, and overcoming ourselves.

How do you prepare to perform?