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We are all guilty of procrastination. We think we have enough time to complete something and then become bombarded with other things that come up in our schedule. Thus, we have to-do lists and unfinished projects for months and sometimes years! Procrastination even occurs with things we enjoy doing most. The longer we wait to work on something, the more we lose our desire and motivation towards completing it.

The key to performing successfully in public is to devise a plan of consistent practice, and to set objectives for each practice session. For example, what specific beat would you like to learn for that session, and how will you build off of it for the next practice session? Having concrete objectives and a well defined plan for each session will avoid wasting time, and build motivation as you'll see your solo begin to come to fruition.


Below are practical principles that will help you execute an excellent performance:

  • Set aside at least 10-15 minutes each day exclusively for practicing your solo. This time should be separate from practicing the music lesson material.

  • As mentioned above, have a specific objective in mind for what you want to learn for that practice session. It could be anything from generating intro ideas to understanding a complicated beat.

  • Record yourself when you practice. This is a great way to measure your progression of where you were to where you are. This will also prevent you from forgetting material you came up with.

  • If you get nervous performing in front of others, you can slowly conquer this fear by performing in front of one person, then a few people, and then a larger audience. This strategy will give you experience performing in front of others and gradually reduce fear as your audience becomes larger each time.

  • Have your solo fully completed 3 weeks before the performance. It's important to give yourself time to rehearse, or modify any parts to the solo. Sometimes procrastination results in a lack of creativity.

  • During the day of the performance, rehearse your solo one last time earlier in the day. Also, make sure your limbs are loose and warmed up. This will prevent stiffness and tension from your muscles.

  • Cultivate self-discipline! Self-discipline is the key that links all these principles together. Apart from this, you'll lack confidence and preparation the day of the recital, no matter how well your plan is. Remember – the people who encompass self-discipline are the most successful at what they do!

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