Tag Archives: performance

One Recital Down

Last Saturday, I performed in my first solo recital as a part of my third year course requirements. I have to say, leading up to the performance I was quite nervous and very stressed out, and I felt like there was no way I’d be ready in time. But, thanks to practicing performing for the other harp students at studio classes, recording myself, and visualizing the recital, the whole thing really well.

Somehow, by the time I got on stage, I wasn’t even nervous anymore. Well, hardly, anyway. I made some mistakes, but that’s pretty normal. I think I dealt with them well, and I played a lot of parts really really well, and that’s more important than a couple of little errors. I’m really proud of all the hard work I put in and I managed to pull off a great performance of a very difficult set of pieces.

My parents flew in from Winnipeg for the weekend to watch me perform, and we did some Vancouver sight-seeing. (I finally went to the Capilano Suspension Bridge! It’s pretty awesome, you should go if you have a chance.) They also fixed the lamp in my apartment and my mom mended my stockings for me, heh heh.

A lot of my friends came to watch me perform as well, although there was one small glitch; there is an elderly woman who attends nearly everyone’s recitals, and she takes it upon herself to hand out programs before the performances. What I didn’t know, backstage, was that she was keeping everyone outside because she thought I wasn’t ready for them to come in! There I was, thinking, “It’s five minutes before my recital, why is no one here?! Have I been forsaken by all of my friends?!”

Of course, it worked out. I’m very happy with how much I’ve improved since arriving at UBC, and I’m very lucky to have so many people who came out to support me. Now I get to take a break from practicing, and then start planning the program for my final recital next year!

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That Sweet Feeling of a Performance Gone Well

Earlier today I had the pleasure of performing at the Dodson Series Concert (these are concerts held once a month in the Dodson Room in Irving K. Barber Learning Centre), and I’m happy to report that all of the performances (all by UBC Music students) went very well!

Like pretty much anyone ever, I get a bit nervous before I play.  I used to get a lot more nervous than I do now, but with every performance I gain better control over my adrenalin. As I sat down at the harp, I took a deep breath in, imagined the first few bars as I wanted them to sound, and then began to play. I knew that I had that piece down cold.  I’d practiced well, and I had just played it in the dress rehearsal, and nothing was going to go wrong. One of the most important things I think I did today was keep breathing while I played  – it’s easy to forget when you’re nervous, and not breathing makes it very easy to get tense and tired which can sabotage your playing.

I finished the piece, and I don’t even remember playing a wrong note. I stood up, smiled, and bowed, letting the applause wash over me. After pouring all that energy out into the audience, it felt so good to feel all the appreciative energy of the audience come back to me.  A few people came up to me afterwards to congratulate me on my performance and let me know how much they enjoyed it. I think those people who come up afterwards are my favourite part of performing; knowing I’ve played in a way I’m proud of makes me feel great, but knowing that I’ve been able to connect with and inspire another person so much that they want to come up and thank me for it makes me feel amazing.

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