Audition Tips

If you've ever felt confident practicing, but were inconsistent later during a performance, check out this quick lesson on how to fix it.

It could also help you if you do public speaking, teaching, or presentations.

Here it is:

Next time you're practicing for a performance, simulate performance conditions as follows:

- Get your heartbeat up (do pushups, squats, jumping jacks, or run around the block)

- Find a way to create distractions (ask someone to make noise or hit you with flying objects at random times)

-Visualize being on stage as if the audience is there, and, most importantly,

perform the entire piece, at tempo, without stopping.

That's it. (65 words actually, but could be condensed to 30.)

It should make even more sense after I provide some context.

I learned about this from performance psychologist, Dr. Noa Kageyama, the same day he brought me in to teach his class at Juilliard.

You can check out the in-depth interview with Noa on Youtube here.

Here's more context:

Most musicians are trained to practice "spots".

My son gets assigned practice spots by his Suzuki teacher every week, with notes that look like this:

"Practice measures 11-13, 43-49, and 67-68 - sloooowwwwly with the metronome"

Common wisdom advises breaking material into small pieces when learning anything.

But to optimize for a performance, you should practice performing the whole piece, at tempo, in simulated (i.e., somewhat stressful) performance conditions.

It's called performance practice.

Practicing for the performance, instead of practicing to learn something.

What do you think?

Are you going to try it?