How to Prepare Your First Music Performance

Updated: Jan 19

Getting the perfect piano performance with WKMT

Thomas Rickerby explains some helpful tips for you to get the best musical performance. Taking advantage we have the IX Music Festival in London next Saturday for all our music students.

While some musicians learn an instrument just for private enjoyment, most learn with the intention of performing in some capacity. The first live performance can be daunting for any musician regardless of age, instrument, musical background etc... The following tips can you help prepare gearing up to your first performance:

1/ Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse

You can never have enough rehearsal when leading up to a performance, especially your first performance. This isn’t too say that you should overwork your body and instrument (especially if you’re a singer), but regular and consistent rehearsals are key. Make sure you warm up, practice the pieces that you will be performing, in the right order and with the arrangement.

2/ Simulate the performance environment

If possible, try to make the rehearsal environment as similar to the performance environment as you can. For example, rehearsing in a similar type of room/venue as the performance, your positioning in the performance I.e. are you standing or sitting, are you performing alone or with others? You should take all of these things into account to help you get familiar with the environment that you will be performing in.

3/ Practice mistakes and accidents

While you don’t want to actually make any mistakes, mistakes do happen. You should prepare for this by simulating them. For example, what happens if a string breaks, can you continue the rest of the performance? Practice performing your piece in different positions on your instrument in case. If you’re a singer for example, can you later the melody if you’re having a rough day and struggling to sing in a difficult part of your range?

All of these things can and unfortunately will happen in live performances, however if you have prepared for it then you will feel a lot more confident on stage if they do happen.

4/ Have fun!

Remember that music is supposed to be fun, and that includes performing live. While we put a lot of pressure on ourselves leading up to and during live performances, they can and should be an enjoyable experience. If you do the necessary preparation, that should help you feel a little bit more relaxed when do it your first live performance.

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