Perfectly-polished piano students “stumble” in recitals all the time. It is heartbreaking for teachers and disappointing for students. Repeated recital stumbles (and the resulting feelings of failure) can even lead to good piano players quitting piano lessons.
Since this is the last thing teachers want to happen, it is important that a significant portion of every pre-recital lesson is focused on controlling nerves. In fact, I would suggest spending five to ten minutes of every lesson in the weeks before your recital on teaching the tools for nerve suppression.
If you are unsure of how you might spend this recital prep time, today we are sharing a fun pre-recital piano game that will help students kick their anxiety to the curb when the big day arrives.
A Pre-Recital Piano Game For Anxious Students
When a nervous piano student is at a recital waiting for his turn, there is only one thought going through his mind: “I sure hope I don’t mess this up.”
When that same piano student sits down at the piano, that thought has been elevated to an internal scream. As he strikes the first key, he still doesn’t know if things are going to go well or not.
And, as you probably know, any piano student who strikes the first key with doubt in his mind is at risk of a recital stumble.
To help eliminate pre-performance doubt, piano teachers must help their students experience success before they even begin to play their piano piece. This is best achieved by giving your students a simple list of pre-performance tasks they should focus on before it is time to make music.
These tasks can include: remembering to announce a piece with a loud voice, taking a deep breath before beginning to play, and adjusting the bench so it is the perfect distance from the piano. If your students can focus on mentally checking off these simple tasks, tiny seeds of success will be planted in their brains before they begin to play. And students who have already experienced success before touching a key will be less likely to succumb to performance anxiety.
Below we are sharing a piano game you can use in your studio to help students remember their pre-performance checklist.
A Piano Game To Teach Pre-Performance Recital Tasks
Today’s piano game is simple and effective. Based on the game Memory, you and your students will engage in a battle of brains to see who can locate the most matches from a grid of cards.
The printable game that you can download by clicking here or on the image below contains pairs of cards with matching pre-performance recital tasks (plus one blank one for you to add your own). Print the cards double-sided, cut them out, lay them on a floor in a six by three grid and start locating the matching pairs.
More Pre-Recital Help For Piano Students
If you have students who struggle with anxiety during piano recitals we have a few more articles that will lead them to a successful performance. Check out the links below: