Written By: Seon Gyu Park, Voice Teaching Artist
Our winter recital is less than two months away from now. I want to share some practical tips on how to prepare well for a recital. I have many experiences performing operas and concerts in New York, the Washington D.C. area, Korea, and many other places. I once had stage fright, but as experiences piled up, I was able to overcome it slowly. I definitely understand how you feel anxiety and nerves before a performance. I hope this article helps our Academy students to perform confidently and shine on the stage.
1. One Month Before the Recital
Work hard on memorizing music. This month should focus on remembering the music, the notes, and rhythm. You should know all the musical terms and dynamics in your sheet music. If you are a singer, you should know the meaning of the lyrics not only the words. After studying your music thoroughly, you need to memorize it as fast as you can so that you will have much time to polish it. Plus, this will give you more confidence on the stage.
2. One Week Before the Recital
Image Training—After memorizing your music well, now you need to do some image training. Find a quiet room and time and imagine that you are wearing a beautiful outfit and walk to the stage. Your audience welcomes you with big smiles and warm applause. Now, you are playing your music from beginning to end. You perform perfectly, and you bow to your passionate audience. One of the benefits of image training is that you can play your music over and over until you don’t make any mistakes. Do it repeatedly until you feel confident.
3. The Day of the Recital
Start your warm-up at least four hours before your performance. Even though you believe that you already woke up, your mind and body don’t wake up totally. Your body needs time to be warmed up. If your concert starts at 11 a.m., I encourage you to wake up at 7 a.m., take a warm shower, and have a good and healthy meal.
Have a meal at least two hours before the recital.Please don’t have a big meal right before the recital. Digestion will slow your mind down, and you don’t want to burp during the performance. Eat at least two hours before your performance. If you get hungry again, have a light snack, and stay energized.
Be hydrated with room temperature water. Hot water or hot coffee will dry your throat, and milk products make mucus. Soda drinks are not good neither. You know why; It makes you burp 😉
Have a rehearsal about one hour before the recital. Use this time to check the sound and memorization one final time.
4. Enjoy your performance!
Don’t worry about anything and enjoy your music. You need to believe that all the people in the audience are your supporters and cannot wait to listen to your music. You are the star! Rock it!
About Ms. Seon Gyu Park
Ms. Park is a full-lyric soprano and voice teaching artist at the Academy. She is an active opera singer appearing in numerous opera productions including the title role of Massenet’s opera “Cendrillon (Cinderella)” with Amato Opera and a soloist in the Praise Celebration of Milal at Carnegie Hall. Ms. Park is recognized in regional and national competitions such as the National Association of Teachers of Singing Virginia State and Mid-Atlantic Regional Voice competitions and the Classical Singer National Voice Competition. Ms. Park has almost 20 years of teaching experience at public school music programs and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in vocal performance at George Mason University.