Studying a musical instrument gives many opportunities to take the stage and share your talent! Most music teachers will integrate performance as an important part of the educational experience. Why is performance such a vital part of a solid music education?
It’s a chance to express yourself through your instrument!
Music is a language and form of communication. We are moved by music in our daily lives because it speaks to our emotions and expresses our triumphs, defeats, sadness, and joy. When we learn to play an instrument, we add a new language and powerful form of expression. Daniel Levitin said it so eloquently in his book “This is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession”:
For the artist, the goal of the painting or musical composition is not to convey literal truth, but an aspect of a universal truth that if successful, will continue to move and to touch people even as contexts, societies and cultures change.
Performance builds grit!
Sharing your music with an audience builds poise, confidence, and courage. A performance can have a jubilant outcome by showcasing many hours of dedicated practice on a
well-executed piece. However, more often than not, a performer will have several moments that didn’t go as well as they had in the practice room. It might be a tangly technical passage or a tiny memory slip. Both performance experiences are valuable if interpreted in the right way.
These lines from Rudyard Kipling’s poem “IF”, although dramatic, truly represent the best attitude towards any performance (and life’s ups and a downs, in general):
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same.
Every performance is a rehearsal for the next performance. When students learn to control their nerves or make a smooth recovery after a mistake during a performance, they are gaining grit – the ability to “stay in the game” and work through a difficult challenge. Each time they take the stage, they build more confidence and skill for the art of performance.
Playing for an audience develops your ability to present yourself in a positive way!
To be successful in our everyday lives we need to be able to communicate well and share our ideas clearly. Students who have performed on their instrument throughout their musical education already have a wealth of experience in presenting themselves positively to an audience of strangers. The act of playing music requires vulnerability, but also the ability to articulate this vulnerability in a meaningful way. While stepping into your first job interview can be intimidating, for a musician, it’s not nearly as daunting. They have practiced the skills of public performance, problem solving on the fly, and communicating through their music. A sense of well-developed confidence is apparent in how they interact with the world around them!
Studying an instrument is so valuable and the performance aspect is a key component to the overall experience. Always take advantage of the opportunity to share your musical voice with the community. This can be on a big scale with a large ensemble or a solo performance at a studio recital. It could also be a meaningful performance at a retirement or assisted living community where a young musician’s talent is so appreciated Think creatively about ways to build your “performance” muscle!
If you’re interested in seeing young musicians sharing their music, come to Omaha Conservatory of Music’s Spring Recital Series. It’s always inspiring to hear the work of students from all walks of life and all levels of study. For more information, check our calendar at www.omahacm.org or call 402-250-9287.