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A Performance Manifesto

The topic of PERFORMANCE has been on my mind a lot recently. GPDA had a very successful Spring Fundraiser – kudos to all who worked hard to prepare beautiful performances for it! My Northfield School students are preparing for their final performance tomorrow, and my homeschool students will perform in May. Plus, there have been GPDA playdates galore recently. Performance is a big deal for musicians, so let’s talk about it!

Erin’s Performance Manifesto (a work in progress... )

#1- Preparing for a performance makes you practice.

Yes, it's true, everyone practices more if they know there is a performance coming up. The pressure of a date on the calendar helps you stay motivated to get your instrument out every day. This is good.

#2- Performing more makes you more comfortable with performing. Unfortunately, the best way I know of to overcome stage fright is to get on the stage. The more you do it, the more comfortable it becomes.

#3- Making mistakes during a performance is part of the process.

You will play some wrong notes or completely forget a song you have known for years. You will stumble over your words and spill your water on stage (okay, maybe that one is just me!). It’s okay. It is not the end of the world – in fact, no one but you will even remember it happened!

#4- You don’t have to perform.

While performing can be a very good thing, it isn’t for everyone. If performing makes you so nervous that you never want to play your instrument again, don’t perform. Even if you never play for anyone but yourself, your music is still worth creating.

GPDA provides a variety of opportunities for performing in groups, but we are lacking opportunities to present solo (or small group) performances. Once upon a time, there was an "Open Mic" at the end of every GPDA club meeting, but interest waned and it gradually faded away. We'd like to bring it back and challenge you to Practice your Performance. At the May meeting, we'll have a sign-up for June's Open Mic – remember, a date on the calendar helps you practice! We'll also create a sign-up in the Yahoo Group, if you can’t make it to the meeting. I hope you will be a part of it!

Here's to many more great performances in the future!

--Erin Mae, VP

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