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WHAT MAKES A GOOD PERFORMANCE?

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! 

#letsmakesomenoise

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