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Before the festival:
1. Do not over-practise: practise festival music only 6 times a day in order to keep the music fresh:
i) two times very slowly with the music (watch music carefully!)
ii) once very slowly without the music
iii) once up to tempo with the music
iv) two times up to tempo without the music
2. Once a day be sure to practise performance etiquette and pretend you are at the festival. Remember, this is not practising the music; if you make a mistake continue as if you are on stage. Do not stop.
3. Have a dress rehearsal at home before the festival; wear the clothes you plan to wear at the festival. Be sure that the clothes you wear are loose and comfortable. If you are using the pedal, make sure you are comfortable with the shoes you plan to wear.
4. On the day of the festival, be sure you’ve had a good night’s sleep and eat well. Being tired or hungry will only detract from your performance. Practise festival music only once or twice. Do plenty of warm-ups before you leave for the festival.
At the festival:
1. Dress appropriately; first impressions count.
2. Arrive at least 15 minutes before your class is to begin.
3. Bring your music (no photocopies allowed) and entry form. Both are to be handed in to the Secretary when your class is called.
4. You will be shown where to sit (after your class has been called); be sure to take that same seat when you are finished playing to receive adjudication and mark.
5. Nervousness: Being nervous is a normal part of performance. The best way to deal with it is preparation. If you know your music well, then being nervous will not detract from your performance. When you are nervous, muscles tend to contract due to the flow of adrenaline throughout your body. Your body does this naturally: the “fight or flight” syndrome. While waiting for your turn, take many deep breaths (in through the nose and out through the mouth) to give oxygen to the tense muscles. This will help to relax them. Shake and relax your arms and hands. Roll your shoulders; raise and drop them. Rotate your head.
While on stage, before you play...think. Know what the first notes are and the tempo (speed) you will be starting at. If there are certain things you must remember about your piece review them in your mind before you play. Be sure you are comfortable before you begin.
While playing keep the concentration until the end and never stop. Remember to count the last note and keep your posture until you lift your hands off the keyboard.
6. As long as you have played your best, it doesn’t matter what your mark is. Be proud of yourself; I already am.