Music is a performing art
Musicians know that successful performance requires many hours of practice. We rightly tend to focus on practising technical skills, but the performance skills required to perform confidently and expressively in front of an audience must also be practised. As developing musicians, we need opportunities to share our music, learn how to manage our nerves, and develop our stage presence. A competition can be a great opportunity to do this.
Benefits of competition
Acquire and perfect new repertoire
Work towards a performance goal
Perform at a good concert venue with a supportive audience
Perform on a good instrument (for pianists and organists)
Build confidence, and receive feedback and guidance from inspiring professionals
Meet other developing musicians, share interpretations, and join a musical community
Competition Top Tips
Stick to what you know
Choose pieces that meet the competition requirements and are within your capabilities. A confident performance of a well-prepared piece will be the most enjoyable for you and your audience.
First and last impressions
Think through every part of your performance. Will you bow at the beginning, or wait until the audience applauds at the end? Look confident and relaxed as you walk on and off the stage. For singers in particular, saying a few words about your chosen song at the start of your performance can help the audience to engage with the story you are telling.
Play to the crowd
What the audience (and the adjudicators) most want to hear is your musical personality and potential, so aim to give a really polished and expressive performance. Play or sing your heart out, and let mistakes dissolve into the past!
Keep things in perspective
At any competition, only a few competitors will win prizes. If you aim to give your best possible performance, and gain valuable feedback and experience, you will have a positive experience.
Whatever the results, learn from your experiences and go forward with enthusiasm!