Student Login


With an upcoming choir and piano concert looming I’ve been thinking hard about what makes a good performance. How can we make our audience feel glad that they spent their hard earned cash on a ticket and made the effort to take time out of their busy lives and show up on the day? And how can we ensure they want to come back and see us perform again?

People like people. We are drawn to people who engage us, people with energy and people who seem happy. So we need to engage our audience, demonstrate our energy and show how happy we are (despite feeling nervous). 

If someone smiles at us, we smile back. If someone makes eye contact with us we notice and react. When we’re way up on the stage our audience can’t tell that we’re not looking at their eyes if we look just over their heads. So looking out over our audience we might try to sing parts of the song to certain people. We can choose their eyes or their heads, whichever we find easier and more comfortable, but this way the audience feels engaged by the performers. 

It’s hard to watch a Gospel choir perform without smiling because the energy they typically demonstrate is so contagious. We each need to find a way to prevent our nerves from blocking our energy and the natural desire to move while singing. It is easy to go rigid with fear, but actually we are only reducing our enjoyment, and as a consequence reducing the enjoyment of the audience, if we allow our nerves to get the better of us. You can read my previous blog post about combating nerves with the 4 Ps here. If you are nervous on the stage look at your director for reassurance - notice they will be moving to the music, try to get in sync with them if you can. 

Singing makes us happy inside, but in order to let our audience know that we are happy we have to show it on the outside. How can we do this when we are terrified? Simple. Smile. Force a smile at first and you might just find that a real smile finds its way through as you start to relax. 

So, what makes a good performance? Engaging performers who look at their audience, energetic performers who don’t resist their desire to move a little to the music and happy performers who look like they’re having the best time of their lives. 

(Notice I haven’t mentioned the polish on the act? I don’t think it’s as important as some people might lead you to believe. The main thing to remember is that we are making music to have fun and to make people happy. It doesn’t have to be a perfect performance to be one that people will enjoy and remember for a long time.)

Engaging, energetic, happy performers! 


Written By

Related Articles


You wouldn’t lift weights without first warming up and you wouldn’t do an aerobics class without first warming up, so why would you sing without first warming up? When we sing we are using our vocal cords (soft tissue) and the larynx muscles and if we don’t stretch and warm them up before starting to […]
Read More


If you have a performance coming up, no matter what it is, from making a speech, to singing a solo or playing in an orchestra, you might be feeling a little bit nervous right now. There’s nothing unusual about this, I certainly am; many performers, some with years of experience, and novices alike, feel the […]
Read More


Picture the scene: it’s Christmas; the hall is filled with proud parents and grandparents; the choir is lined up, wearing knee socks and school colours bobbles; and then they start to sing and there isn’t a dry eye in the place. Because everyone loves a children’s choir at Christmas. My children are too young to […]
Read More


1. Ukuleles are a great instrument for beginners and veteran musicians alike. You can just pick one up fairly inexpensively and start strumming. 2. Ryan Gosling plays the ukulele; the ukulele is cool. 3. Kids love them - it’s a great educational thing to experiment with - and they love the noises they make. Whether […]
Read More