At my music school in Parramatta, performing is an important part of your growth and development as a pianist and a well-rounded musician.
At first, learning an instrument will be all about having music lessons, learning new pieces and perfecting them. Of course, this can be great fun and very rewarding, and it is a great way to start learning music. As your skills develop, it’s important to find lots of opportunities to play to other people, with other people, and to hear others perform.
In this article I will discuss the benefits of performing solo, and suggest opportunities to develop your performance skills. My next article will be about performing with others.
Performing on your instrument gives you a goal to work towards, and an opportunity to perfect a piece. When the piece is ready to perform, record yourself – you can listen critically as the audience would hear it, then you can make improvements. At a later date, listen to your recording again. You’ll be amazed at how well you played at the time.
Look for opportunities to play solo piano items:
Students’ Piano Concerts
At students’ concerts we have the opportunity to hear other pianists, who may be at a higher level which can be very inspiring, or we might hear a piece we once played, this time played differently. It expands our knowledge of music – there are usually new pieces in different styles which we might choose to learn in the future.
All my students are encouraged to play in an annual informal concert with students from other local teachers at my Parramatta music school. Families are welcome and encouraged to attend. It’s a popular event with almost all of my students participating. Some of my older students have been known to cancel outings with friends to participate!
Performing in Piano Eisteddfods
Performing in local piano competitions (called eisteddfods) can prove to be a valuable way of growing your performance confidence and preparing for important piano exams or other performances like the HSC Music performances.
Eisteddfods and other competitions are valuable because they give you opportunity to perform your music for a larger audience – the more you do of this, the better! Additionally, you receive valuable feedback from an experienced adjudicator, who can help you with some top tips about your performance.
Playing Piano Items at School
Talk to your school about performance opportunities. There may be an opportunity to perform a piece for the class, or at the school assembly. The school may be happy for you to perform regularly.
Performing at a Retirement Village
Most retirement villages welcome the opportunity to have some entertainment for their residents. I can arrange for my piano students to give a small concert at an aged care facility if they are interested.
Playing for Friends and Family
On a more informal level, look for opportunities to play a piece or two for relatives and friends when they come over. Find a piano at school and play for friends during a lunch break – they will love it!
You can earn money while developing performance skills! Speak to your local Council about the rules and procedures involved in busking in your local area – you may need to obtain a license.
Keep your eyes open for many and varied opportunities to perform on the piano. Each experience brings something new, and helps you grow as a pianist and musician!
At my music school in Parramatta, your piano lessons will inspire you and equip you as a well-rounded musician. Performance is one aspect of your piano lessons, as is theory, learning popular and classical music and of course, being inspired by the music you are playing.
However you choose to perform for others, make sure you do this regularly. It’s like anything else – your confidence grows with your practice and performing experience. So go for it and have fun performing!
Piano lessons are inspiring and fun at Elizabeth Myers’ music school, Parramatta! Phone: 0425 275 588