The UVic clarinet studio had their instruments tuned-up by master repair person Wojtek Komsta this week. Mr. Komsta came all the way to NYC to help out the UVic clarinets studio and we were thrilled to have him!
UVic 2nd year clarinetist Alex Chernata took these notes during a session on performance anxiety.
Practice. You have to know your instrument to find success in performance.
Mentally train yourself. Replace fear of difficult passages by practicing with only your fingers to build confidence. Try to keep your practice sessions as accurate as possible to your performance. More specifically, pretend that you are performing when practicing and/or wear the same clothing to rehearsals with your pianist and the concert. These methods prevent placing you into a situation that is unknown to you and prevent those pesky intrusive thoughts. Look into training your sub conscience positively!
Before your show, place yourself into the shoes of the audience. What do you want your music to say and how can you achieve that goal? If you reach yourself emotionally, you’ll likely do so with others.
Performance stress is not necessarily a bad thing. It can give you a boost of adrenaline and surprise you. This is exactly how your body behaves under stressful situations outside of music. You must tame the beast and keep it manageable. Fear is a completely different matter and must be dealt with.
Have a back up plan. If you think you may get lost in performance during a specific spot, make yourself a mental note of where you can come back in.
Here is the first in a series of interesting articles by percussion and piano duo, Passepartout, about their lives traveling and attending artist residencies without a home base. Chris and Nico are not only brilliant musicians, but also eloquent writers as well. This first article in their series can provide insight on their unique musical lifestyle.Click here to read their article.
With a new term beginning I thought it would be a good idea to provide a few pointers for success during the term.
Write practise times directly into your class schedule. This way you know exactly when you practise each day.
Warm-up prior to you lessons and rehearsals. This will save time and allow for more time to focus on technique and repertoire.
Always practise with a mirror, tuner, and metronome.
Keep your reeds in rotation so you always have a good reed to play on. A bad reed can derail a lesson or practise session. See this article by Reiner Wehle on how to break in reeds. My motto: Life is too short to play on bad reeds!!!!!
Your warm-up is the most important part of your practise. A good warm-up should include long tones, scale technique, and articulation.
Organize your practise time. Practising should include a warm-up, etudes/studies, repertoire. Your practise time will vary depending on how much repertoire you are working on.
Set small achievable goals for your practise sessions.
Measure your practise time by tasks rather than time. Putting in multiples hours is useless if you don’t accomplish anything.
Listen to other clarinetists and see as many live concerts as possible of varying genres, styles, and ensembles.