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An encouraging gesture from an amazing friend who couldn't make it to the concert

These chrysanthemums are an  encouraging gesture from an amazing friend who couldn’t make it to the concert.

 1. I learned to connect with the audience before the concert.  It actually helped me to relax.

In the past,  I would usually isolate myself before a concert to focus.  After my Alexander Technique class on connecting with your audience, I realize now that I need to avoid that.  This is because it tends to create mental separation between my audience and me.

Thus, I ate lunch with my friend’s mom, who came from Columbus just so that she could hear me.  I was very touched and talking with her about things not just related to my performance really helped me feel at ease.

 2. I realize that physical ailments subside at the moment you actually sit down to cherish your craft.

I was having stomach pains right before and in between when I played.  (My friend and I switched on and off during the recital program.)  I took supplements with food, which didn’t seem to help.

The choir director asked me if something was wrong before the recital.  I said, “My body doesn’t know what it wants to do.” She simply said, “Your body wants to communicate and enjoy the music.”

Turns out she was right :).

3. Self 1 will show up on super-alert as the memory police.  Do not succumb to it and rush through your pieces.

I had a few memory flubs in my program.  This is very normal because no performance is ever perfect.

However, there seemed to be a connection between when these memory slips happened and when I focused on self 1.  In a performance, self 1 will constantly cause you to rush, and then you lose your memory.  It’s always interesting how the habits we keep as safety measures often cause the problems we hope to avoid.  

My teacher, Jennifer, told me to practice moving away from the piano or not moving at all.  This is because I tend to lean forward very often.  Also, relaxing into the piano bench has also helped.

 4. You might be a bit deflated for a couple days.  Try to accept and enjoy it.

This happened to my friend who was playing with me as well, too.  I went straight to work after my recital but was extremely exhausted afterwards.  My friend tried to write a paper but couldn’t.   We both decided to call it a night early to go straight to bed.

You can just recharge and be productive the next morning.  That is always a plus.

5. Be sure to reflect in gratitude for the experience.

While it easy to focus on what didn’t go well in the performance, don’t dwell on it.  While during my performance, I struggled with the fact that maybe the musicality didn’t flow in the same way as in rehearsal.  I chose not to dwell on it.  Instead, I wanted to be grateful for everyone who came to my concert…..and also for the flowers :).  I think performers should make a gratitude list.

We can also be grateful for the privilege to perform and the gifts God gives us to do that.

Here is a great article on Biblical views of performing and worship.

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