How Do I Prepare For a Vocal Performance?

singing lessons
One often neglected aspect of vocal training is the performance aspect.  It is assumed that if you can technically perform a piece you will be able to knock it out of the park when you perform the piece in front of an audience.
This is mythology!
Preparing for the performance is SUPER important!
Even if you are technically prepared to sing a piece, don’t get in front of a larger audience if you have only prepared technically.
If so, you risk a botched performance due to :
  1. Performance anxiety
  2. Stimulus overload
  3. Lack of performance training
Preparing for a live performance is as important as ensuring you can sing the piece just like you want to sing it. But shouldn’t a performance be live, spontaneous, and unscripted to be great? The answer is decidedly NO!
If you don’t prepare to perform you are in essence preparing to fail at performing.
To give your best performance ask yourself the following questions:
  1. What is the emotion of this song–i.e. what am I trying to communicate to the audience?
  2. What is my technical capability in this song? 
  3. How can I maximize the audience participation in the emotion of this song?
  4. What is my performance capability in this song?
The answer to these questions can help guide your performance and how to prepare for it. Processing this information with a singing coach can be very helpful.
Here are other considerations:
  1. Do I have the lyrics memorized?
  2. Do I have the timing down (knowing when to sing and not to sing)
  3. Can I hit the correct pitches?
  4. Am I using most effectively vowels?
  5. Are my dynamics effective?
  6. Do I know how to use my microphone?
  7. Does my facial gestures and eye movements match the mood of the song?
  8. Is my posture in line with the energy of the song?
  9. Are my hand and arm movements congruent with the emotion of the song?
The BEST way to address these issues is by singing in a ‘live’ environment – in front of a mirror or filming yourself. You could also perform for trusted friends and family that will give you feedback. Performing in front of even just a few people if you are relatively inexperienced performing in front of live audiences is a great way to identify your performance mindset and any performance anxiety issues that negatively impacts your performance.
Practice and perform in front of these small ‘trial’ audiences amplified at all times. Your microphone is a central part of you performance.
Even experienced vocalists feel anxiety before they perform – some more than others. Those that are able to work with the performance anxiety often reframe it. Instead of interpreting the butterflies in the stomach, increased heart rate, and faster breathing as fear of messing up or being judged negatively, those physical symptoms are the same when we feel excitement.
When you perform, aren’t you excited to give the best performance  possible? Aren’t you excited to share your talent and hard work? That is what it means to reframe.
Practice this reframing when you feel anxiety before a performance. You’ll be surprised at the difference that it can make.
At Peak Music Studios, our vocal coach works with our singers to prepare for performances as well as helping them excel the technical aspects of singing. Investing in singing lessons near me with our Master Certified Singing Coach even for a few sessions can help you become the best performer possible! Contact us today!