5 Tips to Conquer Stage Fright on Any Instrument
With proper training the added adrenaline and energy that accompanies stage fright can become an asset. The following tips will teach you how to overcome your stage fright on any instrument
1: Prepare For Your Lesson
Many people have performance anxiety while working with their teachers; this can lead to underperforming in lessons. Most of us students can relate to saying or thinking, “I could play it right by myself! Why can’t I play it for you?” Here are some ways to prepare better for your lessons.
Warm-up before your lesson. So this is obvious, but it took me until my senior year of college before I did it consistently. If it helps, think of your lesson as officially starting 30 minutes before you meet with your teacher. Then you can drive, or walk to the studio.
Develop clear objectives with your teacher each week. It was always intimidating going to a lesson not knowing if my teacher would ask me to play a piece I hadn’t prepared. Instead, ask your teacher to brainstorm objectives with you for the next week of lessons, so that you know exactly what to expect.
Perform your practice objective the day before lesson. At the very least perform the piece/objective for yourself, better yet perform in front of a camera or friend to increase the stakes.
2: Improve Memory
If you are comfortable with your memory of the piece, you will feel less likely to fail, and that will decrease performance anxiety. One way to improve your memory, is to “chunk” your music into meaningful groups.
Chunking in psychology is the process of organizing individual pieces of information into larger more meaningful groupings. For example, if I asked you to memorize the following items:
Cat, dog, ferret, lemon, apple, cherry
You would naturally chunk the information into the categories of “pets” and “fruit.” You would think:
(Pets) – cat, dog, ferret
(Fruits) – lemon, apple, cherry
In music, you can chunk the scales and chords that you see.
For example if you are learning the first movement of the Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven (below), you could chunk the whole first measure into the grouping of “C# minor chord.”
3: Creating Mental Checkpoints
Another memorization practice that I follow is creating mental checkpoints in a piece. This keeps me from relying too heavily on muscle memory.
To create checkpoints, place post-it notes at the beginning of the most important sections (example below). These are your checkpoints. I shoot for a check point every 10-30 seconds – more in the challenging sections.
Now see if you can start right on each checkpoint without looking at the music.
To take it a step further, start at one checkpoint, play for a bit, and then intentionally mess up. Then see if you can start at the next checkpoint without consulting your music.
If you can, you will be much more likely to recover during a higher stakes performance.
4: Building Confidence with Practice Performances
Avoidance may be subtle. Sometimes we avoid performances by procrastinating and not practicing my piece. Other times we avoid by becoming overly perfectionistic and detail-oriented (by becoming hyper detail-oriented, I can avoid performing the whole piece for myself).
To get out of the negative loop, you can follow a plan to put yourself in increasingly challenging performance situations. For example:
You can also put yourself in performance situations by routinely practicing/jamming with musicians at a similar level to you, playing at churches, or playing at retirement communities and nursing homes.
5: A Pre-Performance Ritual
Even if you are feeling crummy, anxious, or unmotivated at the beginning of the day, a pre-performance ritual can help you snap into the right mindset.
Exercise – perhaps a short jog, to get blood flowing to my arm muscles and to my brain. And burn off some of the excess adrenaline.
Piano Warm-Up – Scales, arpeggios, etc so that I am re-acquainted with the instrument. (I rarely play my pieces immediately before a performance, because I think it psyches me out).
Meditation – This calms my nerves and refocusses the extra energy on the task at hand. I visualize/audiate the sounds and emotions I want to create.
By the end of this routine, You will feel alert but relaxed. You're ready to perform!
The Birth of Jazz was somewhere around the 1910’s. The saxophone was patented in 1846 and by the 1850’s lots of saxophonists began to play the instrument in the European military bands because of the considerable volume it could produce compared to the other woodwind instruments. At the same time, classical musicians, picked up the new woodwind instrument and began to write for it and play it in a classical style.
One of the earliest classical pieces written for the saxophone was in 1860, called “Fantasie for Saxophone and Piano”, by Jules Demersseman, who was an early virtuoso on the instrument. It took a while for more serious classical composers to begin to use it in their works, but Debussy used the saxophone in 1901 and Ravel in 1903, which was several years before jazz was born.
Besides Adolphe Sax himself, there were a number of saxophone players who made the saxophone famous before jazz. For example, this is rare footage of a couple of saxophone virtuosos (Rudy Wiedoeft and Benny Krueger) who were playing saxophone in a Classical/Ragtime style.
For anyone who has an interest in the beginning stages of the saxophone, this video of saxophone playing is guaranteed to surprise you and make you smile! https://youtu.be/Db9P-u1_2bE
How To Choose a Time Length that Best Suits Each Student
Knowing how to choose a lesson length is an important aspect of learning music. This is why it is very common to hear people ask, “what is the best time length for music lessons?”
These 5 basic factors are established to enable music students to get the best time length for their music lessons.
Goals are established to give learners a clear idea of what they want to achieve. Goal setting is an important aspect of learning that cannot be underestimated even in the music world. Learning how to choose an appropriate goal can go a long way to help you obtain the best time length for music lessons which depends largely on your ambition.
It is imperative to learn to play accurately. Interestingly, this cannot be achieved without a high level of concentration. It is a bad habit for a musician to make mistakes while playing. This doesn’t reflect growth in any way. Your concentration levels will determine the length of music lesson you take. Consider taking a shorter lesson especially if you find it difficult to concentrate for a longer period (about an hour).
Music teachers play an important role in helping learners achieve their goals regardless of the lesson length set. When it comes to learning music, there is simply no need to dish out long tiring lessons. The most important thing for every music teacher is to provide the necessary information required to improve learning. This can go a long way to enable the learner to find the best lesson length set. Note that too much information can overwhelm the learner.
Experience, they say, is the best teacher. It is important for learners seeking to know what the best time length is for music lessons to ensure that they build on their experience levels. Studies have shown that the more experienced a person is at a thing, the longer he or she will concentrate which can be very helpful in building confidence.
Like experience, ability is built over time. Your ability to focus on the project at hand (learning music) can help you identify the best time length for music lessons. Develop your ability to learn and you will find ample time to achieve perfection.
Finally, your practice and budget will also play an important role in improving your lesson length. So ensure to practice effectively and ensure to go with a lesson that you can afford.
If you have more questions, please contact us at www.losangelesmusicteachers.com
Playing The Clarinet
The clarinet is as versatile as it is fun. It is a great woodwind instrument to learn to play but the process can be confusing to those who are new to this instrument. If you're out of breath while playing or unsure on how to properly clean your instrument, our list of advice is designed to assist beginners. For more personalized, speak with your music instructor at Los Angeles music teachers online.
What Equipment Is Needed?
There are a few essential pieces of equipment for every clarinetist:
Did the clarinet come with a stock mouthpiece? If so, it is time to upgrade a better mouthpiece that provides the desired sound. All stock ligatures should be eliminated as well. Cloth ligatures offer more control than metal ones, so most educators recommend that their students transition into the usage of metal ligatures to open up their sound.
The reed's strength should be determined by the mouthpiece. A “3” is usually the most common but it is not right for everyone. Be sure to speak with your music educator to find out about the strength that is right for you.
How Is Embouchure Improved?
This process doesn’t happen overnight. It’s an often overlooked performance aspect that involves the proper coordination between your upper lip, lower lip, chin and teeth. To begin, drop the jaw so that it is relaxed and not forced open. From there, move the jaw from side to side slightly, so that it can loosen up.
Once full relaxation is achieved, roll your bottom lip ever so slightly over your lower teeth and firm up the mouths's corners. They should be brought forward and in, much like a smile. Place the index finger against the space between your top teeth and use the upper lip to press downward onto your finger.
(The chin should automatically point downward once this step is taken.)
Remove the finger, do not move a muscle, insert 1/4th of your mouthpiece and keep the upper teeth resting on top. Perfect embouchure has been achieved!
What About Reeds?
Finding the right clarinet reeds [https://goo.gl/Z3PmC8] and maintaining them in the proper manner is crucial to your success. Choose the correct reeds for your mouthpiece and the level of pressure used. Do not moisten reeds with saliva, as these acids are highly detrimental to cane.
When a new box of reeds is opened, do not test them all at the same time. The lip desensitizes and reed impressions are inaccurate. The break in process should be steady and slow. It does not take place in one day, they are played for a few minutes each day.
When it comes to cleaning and maintenance, rinse your reeds in water after playing and use a soft cloth to dry them before they are stored on glass. Reed adjustment requires trial and error, so be sure to speak with your clarinet instructor for further advice.
Any Practicing Advice?
Most new clarinet players are misguided as far as practicing is concerned. The amount of time spent practicing is not as important as how that time is spent. An hour of efficient practicing is more effective than three hours of distracted practice. Practice time should consist of warm-ups, enjoyable sheet music and technique practice.
Keeping up the technical side of things can be tough. Always practice technique, no matter what. Each practice should begin with a warm up, you can switch between sheet music and technique as necessary.
For more practice tips, check out How to Make Your Practice Time Count. [https://goo.gl/gqD6ko]
What If I Have a Bad Day?
Bad clarinet days are a very real thing. Practice can be frustrating at times. The trick is to remain calm. Don't force yourself to complete technique exercises or run through scales. At times like these, it is important to simply play through some of your favorite tunes.
Spending time playing what you want to play lets you get into the flow of playing more rapidly. Becoming frustrated? There's nothing wrong with skipping your practice session for that day. Remember: this process is a challenge. There are going to be good days and there will be bad ones. Don't be discouraged. In the long run it pays to be determined.
If you have any questions, want to sign up for lessons online, or want to subscribe to our newsletter, feel free to contact us with any of the links below
Why online music lessons?
For most of us, there are just not enough hours in the day, especially for busy families, business professionals, or students involved in multiple activities or dealing with the virus going on today. Families are often forced to choose between one activity or another because each additional activity requires additional preparation time (packing up gear and arriving early), travel time, and lesson time …for both the parent and the student.
We also realize that there are a number of families that live in areas with harsh climates and excessive traffic. If you live in the south or in highly populated areas, it means not having to fight the hot traffic while trying to get to your lesson. And for those of us who live in the north, it means not having to decide between missing a class that you already paid for, or driving your family on icy roads through a dangerous snowstorm.
To accommodate students/families in these situations we’ve opened up online lessons. The online lesson format is very similar to a private lesson
Clear and Accurate Sounding Lessons
With a background in audio and video production, we understand the importance of clear and accurate audio and video. We have invested heavily in high-quality microphones, audio capture devices, lighting, and video cameras. Much of which is actually used during our private online lessons. It’s important to us that you are able to hear clear vocals and accurate instrumentals, without the room distortion or background noise that you get on a built-in laptop mic or with most of the entry-level microphones. We also have a fast upload speed, so you’ll be able to view our time together in high-definition.
Did you know that the average student forgets 30-70% of what they learned within just a few hours of their lesson? On top of that, each day that passes by without practice, the student will lose another 50% of what’s left. Needless to say, the last thing a parent or student wants is to be paying for lessons (plus drive time and gas), only to spend most of their lesson time relearning old content from the previous week.
A free option available to all of our online students is to have their lesson recorded. This allows students to review EVERYTHING they learned in the previous lesson, not just the parts they can remember; and they can do it at a time when they are most receptive to learning. It also creates a new level of transparency between the parent and teacher, allowing parents to review all of the content that their children are learning.
This combination truly creates an opportunity for full lesson-retention, and puts students in a position where they are able to progress at a much faster rate compared to traditional music lessons.
So if you're interested in learning about our online lessons, please contact us at www.losangelesmusicteachers.com or click on one of the links below
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