Dr. Josh’s 5 Tips for ISSMA Prep

ISSMA Solo and Ensemble is only a few weeks away! All of us at Paige’s Music are wishing you the best as you prepare for the competition. Here are a few tips to consider!

  1. Run the Full Piece – It’s really easy to just practice the easy parts and/or the hard parts of your piece and then we forget to run through the whole thing! You want to make sure to play through the piece multiple times without stopping before you go to competition. Unfortunately, I have seen students play through entire piece for the first time at competition and it usually does not go as well as they’d hoped.
  2. Practice for an audience – It is very common to be nervous playing in front of your friends, family, and the judges at contest. Make sure that you are practicing in front of others (maybe even a few people that make you nervous) so you feel a little more comfortable heading into your solo or ensemble performance!
  3. Simulate Getting Nervous – If you do get nervous, practice getting nervous so you know how to react! This can be done in a few different ways. You could play in front of someone that would cause you to get nervous like your teacher or a friend. Some people will run around or do something active to get their heart racing similar to when they are nervous. Then, you will hopefully be more comfortable when your heart starts to race during your performance!
  4. Practice Getting Distracted – There are a lot of things that can happen during your performance that you can’t control! Sometimes, these things can be distracted and if you aren’t prepared it can effect the way that you play! So, I highly recommend practicing in front of others and asking them to distract you. Then, when you walk into the performance, you are ready to stay locked in and focused throughout the duration of your piece!
  5. Everyone Wants YOU to Succeed! – Always remember that everyone in the room wants you to succeed! They are there to support you and want to see you perform a great solo! Even the judge wants to give you a good score!

If you are looking for ways to practice these things, sign up for our Test Drive Your Solo event! We all wish you the best at ISSMA Solo and Ensemble!

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