Preparing for a concert

All in one week
This past week I prepared my private students, my public school students and myself for multiple concerts. I wouldn’t recommend booking so many concerts with so many different groups in the same week. At this time of the year, however, it is nearly impossible to avoid some overlap.

For my private students
I dedicated my energy to managing performance anxiety, including holding workshops for my teens and tweens to play their pieces for each other in a more casual format. The actual weekend of the recital was dedicated to deciding what to wear, getting flowers for a graduating senior, ordering and printing the program, and making sure all seventeen of my students got to rehearse with the pianist. There was also figuring out how to get the grand piano out of a very small closet.

For my public school students
Preparations included coordinating the actual music being performed with the other groups since chorus, band and orchestra play in the same concerts. There was figuring out who would have access to students and when in terms of warming up before concerts, figuring out how to share music stands, talking to the custodian about how and when to set up chairs both for the ensembles and the audience, making sure classroom teachers knew when to send students, making sure the PE teacher knew when she would lose her teaching space and trying to minimize that, and coordinating special services teachers to make sure all of the students could comfortably and safely play in the concert.

For my own concerts
I made sure I practiced my music well in advance, cooked meals and put them in the freezer, did the laundry, and worked out lesson schedules. This past week it was particularly important for me to get enough sleep and find as much downtime as possible. I wouldn’t say I got this 100% right but all performances came out well and I’m glad to be able to sit down and write this post.

Violinist Linda Beers is the creator of the Inspiration for Violinists, a 50 card deck. Each card has a unique image and text inspiring musicianship, mindfulness and spirituality.

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