Christin Coffee Rondeau
The Recital Prep of CHAMPIONS (Like You.)
Recital time is UPON US, friends, and it's normal to feel a little (or a LOT) anxious beforehand! But that's ok. Even if you're stressed-to-the-max, there are plenty of techniques and tools to help you start--and finish!--your performance STRONG! Weeks before the performance: 1. Get that piece memorized...or as close to memorized as possible! Even if you are planning to perform with music, the last thing you want to do is fumble for words, chase notes, or have your eyes buried in the score rather than focused on your audience. The closer you are to memorized, the more confident you'll be. 2. Make a map. Plan your phrasing, your breaths, your articulation, your dynamics, your important words and/or notes, and so on. Memorize those things as securely as you memorize the notes and rhythms so that during the performance, you can be fully in the moment.
Days before the performance: 1. Rest! Try to go to bed at a reasonable time in the days prior to the performance. 2. Clear your calendar (as much as possible). Everyone has myriad demands on their schedules--school, work, gigs, family obligations, and so on. Clear your schedule by saying "no" to as much as you can in the days immediately prior to your performance. You want to operate from a place of peace rather than panic! 3. Hydrate! (Especially if you're a singer!) It takes several hours for water to make its way through the body and reach the vocal folds, so chugging a Hydroflask right before the recital won't help you all that much. :) Make hydration a priority throughout the week so that your folds are moist (yeah, I know people hate that word, but it's accurate!), healthy, and able to make the sounds you need them to make when you need to make them!
The morning of the performance: 1. Eat a good breakfast--something filling but not heavy. 2. Stretch, go for a walk, take a long bath, steam your voice (ask your teacher how!), or whatever else makes you feel and focused. 3. Gently (but thoroughly!) warm up. No matter your instrument, you want to warm up BEFORE you get to the venue, because there is no guaranteed warm up space AT the venue. Sing or play enough to feel agile and comfortable but not so much that you start to feel tired.
During the performance: 1. Wear something that feels GREAT. There are many ways to dress well for a recital, and those choices are as unique as each performer. But as a general rule, you DON'T want clothes that require a lot of fussin' and adjustin'. You want to be able to stand, sit, and move freely and confidently in your recital clothes. 2. Arrive with plenty of time to find the venue and get settled. 3. Check in with your collaborative pianist ahead of time--make sure they have your
music (bring an extra copy just in case!) 4. Pay attention to the recital order, and be ready to go when it's your turn. 5. There will likely be applause as you walk to the stage. When you arrive at your mark, smile and acknowledge that applause with a head nod or slight bow.
6. Announce your name and the title and composer of your piece (and the larger work it's from, if applicable). 7. ENJOY THE MOMENT! This is your CHANCE to share your brilliance, your hard work, your passion, your greatness, your FUN with people who are EXCITED cheer you on! Soak up every second in the spotlight and share your greatness with the world! 8. When you're done, turn and nod to your pianist (if applicable). Then turn back to face your audience and bow from the waist down. Pro tip: Stay down long enough to whisper, "Hello, toes," then calmly come back up, and return to your seat. And there ya have it! Simple, straightfoward ways to help everyone enjoy your recital experience...yourself included! :D