you should act appropriately at every performance. On the stage, you are musicians and actors at the same time, and you cannot disregard the audience. You play to the audience, it watches you, listens to you and analyzes you. It gives an opinion how you play, how you look like and what messages you send to it. You are on the stage to tell something to the audience. You speak to it by your movement, posture and glance. It observes and comments every grimace that you make and receives every music message that you send.

    When you are announced, take firm and steady steps to the stage, no matter how you feel. Remember, the audience respects smart and brave performers.

    Bow slightly with a gentle smile. Bowing is a sign of gratitude to the audience. When the applause dies down, quietly move on to tuning the clarinet. And when you have done that calm down a little, relax and focus your attention on the beginning of the piece that you should play. Remind yourself for a moment of important tips and tempo. After that, turn to the accompanist and discretely nod your head to show that you are ready and start playing.

Note: While playing, never turn your back to the audience!

Public performance is done in six stages: 1. Coming to the stage   2. Bowing
3. Tuning   4. Performing a piece   5. Bowing again and   6. Leaving the stage.

     While playing, be fully concentrated on the piece. Give the audience your best music. Feel that every tone and phrase you play spreads throughout the hall. Let your music fill every corner of it. The audience will feel it and respect it. It reward you.

    Do not rush to reach the end and to “escape” from the stage. The audience may unconciously interpret it in a wrong way: ”This is a person without self-conficence. We do not like him.”

     If you happen to blunder and fail or make an error, you must not stop, but calmly and without any grimace continue to play the composition. Simply “move” through the error as if nothing has happened and continue to play. Otherwise, it will seem as if you have told the audience: “See how I am making errors.”

     When students have performance anxiety they are not aware of their foot-tapping and do not even realize that these taps are louder than the clarinet tones.

    When you are on the stage, do not look for someone in the hall, for example, your brother, mother, and so on. If you have a break, and the piano is playing, listen to its interpretation, because it is complementary to what you play. During this time you should follow the piano with your ear and soul. Otherwise, it will seem as if you have told the audience: “Do not listen to this, this is not important, only my playing music is important.”

    Remember: there are no unimportant performances, and the more you perform, the more self-confidence you gain.

Taken from my book 
I Am Studying Clarinet III


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