By: Renee Bordner
NWE Music Studio Director
I often hear from parents that they do not feel their child is "ready" to participate in a performance event with our studio. Unfortunately, I usually do not agree. When a student can play a piece as simple as "Hot Cross Buns" on the instrument and feel good about it, the student is ready! Students who are uneasy about performing in front of a large formal audience can start by performing for family and friends over a video chat in their home. Teddy bear recitals at home for students' stuffed animals can be a terrific way for students to start performing. Personal recitals for family and close friends are also a very safe and supportive environment for shy students. We love to hear about how students create tickets, programs, and even refreshments afterward for their recitals. We also encourage students who are extremely hesitant to perform to attend our events as our guests. Seeing other students like them performing can be an incredible inspiration.
I believe in offering our students multiple performance opportunities throughout a calendar year. It is important to me that we offer a variety of casual and formal events. We have also added competitive events for our students who are motivated by competition. Our Winter Holiday Recitals are very special as they are our most formal event that is open to all of our students. We welcome our beginner through advanced students to perform and celebrate each other's successes. Our spring outdoor music festival, Note-worthypalooza, is a light-hearted event with musicians performing at different stages simultaneously.
I encourage all of our instructors, students, and families to have conversations about performances throughout the year. We find that many students are motivated by performing while some are inspired by dressing up, and others are motivated by the family celebrations after. As an educator, I believe it is my role to help students discover their motivators and use them to help students achieve the next big goal! Performance skills can easily be applied to future situations a student will encounter. Students can use this knowledge to identify and cope with performance anxieties to job interviews and presentations to coworkers or classmates.
If you musician has performance anxiety, please reach out to your instructor and me. We would be honored to help create a plan for your musician to have a successful performance!