Practicing to Perform at the Piano

Years ago I made up this set of Performance Signs that I frequently use during group classes with my students. (I’m a little embarrassed about the quality of the design now, but I’ve been using them for years and my students are very attached to them!)

There are six signs, with the following titles: Approach to Piano, Arrival at the Piano, Performance, Completion, Bow, and Return to Seat. On the back of each card is a list of things to remember in conjunction with that portion of the performance. I printed each of these signs on a sheet of colored paper and laminated it. Once I introduce the performance principles to students (or review them prior to a performance), I distribute the cards randomly. Each student takes a turn performing, and once they are back at their seat, the students with the cards hold them up if they followed the steps listed on that particular card. If the performer doesn’t get a raised card in a particular area, the “judge” of that area explains what they should have done differently to get that card raised.

You can download your own set of these Performance Signs for free and print them out for use in your studio. The combination of the visual representation and the constant use these get in my studio has entrenched these performance principles on my students’ minds. That’s not to say that they always remember them in the “heat of the moment,” but we’re getting there!

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