I asked my students to make a map of at least one of their Federation pieces. Lainey came this week and I followed her map of “Drifting Flight” by E.L. Lancaster. She said it worked because she tried it out on her brother!
We’ve been following music maps in each group class for symphonic works so I thought it would be a great memory device for their own pieces. Music maps outline gestures, show repetition of ideas, thicker lines can represent dynamic increases, and conducting the map follows the notion that “motion translates into sound and sound translates into motion.”
Preparing for Performance:
I also like to have a performance class dedicated to performing under pressure. We play games such as “jump,” “distraction,” and post-it practice.
You always want to move forward in your piece so you don’t get stuck. When given the signal or verbal shout “jump!” the performer needs to jump to the next section. In “Distraction,” your goal is to keep performing no matter if someone hears giggling, a cell phone, whispering, papers rustling, judges writing comments, etc. I’m good at continuing through distractions. As a mom, I need to practice with the distraction of “silence.”
Post-it practice is used in many ways: memory chunks, putting the form in order, and being able to link one section to the next. Performers should know their starting notes, fingers, and spots on the keyboard.
The last thing I am having my students do to prepare for solo festival is the “Performance Card.” They need to have six little performances leading up to the “big” performance so they are comfortable playing different pianos, playing in different situations, and for different audiences.