Motivating music students - the FUN way!
Monday, December 05, 2022
I have learned that just because a person plays a musical instrument, doesn’t mean he or she jumps at the chance to perform for others. The majority of musicians feel nervous and intimidated to do so. Most of us have those feelings to some degree at one point or another. We may speak of butterflies in our stomachs, feeling as if we are going to throw up or go to the bathroom, or a hundred other equally frustrating physical manifestations that we feel anxious, intimidated, afraid, or feel as though the world is about to end every time we stand up in front of an audience to perform. It is, however, imperative for every musician to learn to perform their music for others. Yes, music is for our own enjoyment, but we can bless the lives of so many who hear us perform what we have worked so hard on mastering.
Though I can’t say I have any life shattering solutions for helping music students, including ourselves, overcome these feelings, I can give a few ideas to help the feelings of anxiety decrease to a certain extent (the rest is up to the student).
Here are some thoughts and ideas to help music students feel comfortable in front of others:
These are just a few ideas of what you can encourage your students to do. Every little bit will help increase their confidence to perform in front of others. That is essentially what we are hoping to accomplish. If students believe in themselves and their own ability, they will have more confidence in performing what they have practiced and perfected.
Here are a few videos from our “Improv Jam Session” times after our bi-annual concerts (recitals) we have for the piano students in my studio. These are a few selections from past years.
At the very end of each concert/recital I decided we would have an “Improv Jam Session” where I would randomly call piano students, parents, grandparents, and friends up to perform impromptu numbers in front everyone. It has been a great opportunity to help the students feel more comfortable performing in front of others. You never know what I will do (and neither do I). Sometimes we will compose a piece on the spot or improvise over a ii-V-I jazz chord progression. At other times I have had students arrange “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” in a new style on the spot and not do what the previous person has done. It’s a fun way to get students in front of others and let the students know it’s okay to be in front of others and to perform. I hope you enjoy these!
I hope you have a wonderful day today. Make it matter. Make it count. Live life deliberately, intentionally, and purposefully!
Smile all the while and BE HAPPY!
Have a Musical and Magical Day!
Thanks - Jerald
Music Mentor, Composer, Author
My name is Jerald Simon and I help teen and adult piano students learn to play piano the FUN way by teaching music theory, improvisation, and composition. I refer to these as Theory Therapy™, Innovative Improvisation™, and Creative Composition™. Within these three areas of musicianship, we focus on mastering Piano FUNdamentals (emphasis on the word FUN). My company is called Music Motivation® and we create COOL SONGS, Essential Piano Exercises, Piano FUNdamentals, video courses, weekly online group piano lessons, workshops, seminars, music books, albums, and so much more!
My goal is to help you learn how to play any style of music you want on the piano in any key – with or without music. I want students to learn and know how to read any piano music placed in front of them and play it as it is written. But I also teach you how to take any music and play it at least 100 different ways in any key and any genre or style you want from classical to new age, jazz, blues, rock, pop, ballads, country, etc.. I encourage students to take the music theory we learn in our weekly online group piano lessons and learn how to improvise, arrange, and compose music of their own. I help piano students discover their composer within.