5 Ways to Rock Your Preparation for Solo and Ensemble

District XVI Middle School Solo and Ensemble is only 5 days away! Consider these 5 tips for preparation this week.

1. Practice Performance

Practicing your piece goes without saying, but practicing performance is an entirely different animal. Once you've nailed the music and rhythm in each measure and you're playing the piece through, it's time to practice the performance. Play through the piece in its entirety and if you mess up, don't stop--practice the recovery. Practice the piece as you will play it at solo and ensemble--if that means standing, then stand. Gather your family or some friends together and perform the piece for them. The more comfortable you are with performance the easier it will be to play your piece as you play it alone in your practice space.

2. Video Yourself

Videoing yourself accomplishes two preparation exercises. First, videoing yourself can create a rise of nerves within you much like the nerves you have when performing for a group of people. Learning to push through those nerves will help you immensely. Second, after having captured your performance visually and audibly you can study it and see where you've made mistakes or can make improvements.

3. Know the Song

Listen to the piece you'll be preforming. Listen to multiple musicians playing it, watch them on YouTube. Listen to the piece so much you begin to anticipate certain passages and phrases. Know the song inside and out.

4. Be Prepared

Have your music ready the night before, if you need music for your piano accompanist be sure that's in your folder as well along with any copies the judges may need. If it's your first year at Solo and Ensemble look up directions with your parents ahead time. Check your reeds, and your greases or oils.

5. Arrive Early

There's numerous benefits to arriving early at S&E aside from finding a parking space. You'll want time to find the room where you'll be performing, and then you'll want time in the practice room to warm up and prepare. Give yourself time to settle in and time for anything that may come up before you play.