Performing with little or no preparation

In the spirit of “Go Play!” my students are presenting an informal performance tomorrow night. I try to schedule these “coffeehouse” performances monthly so what’s so special about this one?

Well, I realized today that every student who’s performing has had less than two weeks to prepare their piece(s). Most of them have had less than one week. Granted, they are playing familiar Christmas tunes, but nevertheless, all fifteen of them will be getting up in front of an audience and playing…and not one of them has hesitated or mentioned the word “nervous.” In fact, if it weren’t for scheduling conflicts, there would have been over twenty students performing at The Music Studio tomorrow evening.

What can be gained from this seat-of-the-pants performance?

  • Students are learning how to take a piece from sight-reading to performance quickly, a skill that will come in handy if they are called upon to accompany or perform on the spur of the moment.
  • The performance is a chance for them to share their music, not a performance to be judged.
  • The pieces aren’t polished, so the performances are spontaneous and some may be almost improvisatory.
  • The students will listen to their peers and get a taste of the sense of community that their friends in band and orchestra feel each time they rehearse or perform.


5 thoughts on “Performing with little or no preparation

  1. Thank you for keeping this blog. “& not one of them has hesitated or mentioned the word ‘nervous'” – That speaks volumes about the contribution you are making to these children’s lives – You are, after all, the source of their ability to “not be nervous”- Great work!

  2. Oh, this is such a fabulous experience! And that is so wonderful that they are obviously doing this in the spirit of fun and the holidays. Your ability as a teacher to get them to such a peaceful state of mind about music-making is such a blessing and an inspiriration. Thank you, Cathy!


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