Stage Presence

 

Proper stage presence is essential to every performance. It shows respect for yourself , the music and the audience. It makes the audience feel more comfortable and you feel more confident. Stage presence is important for any kind of performance , a recital or concert, an audition or an exam.


What is stage presence? It is how you dress, approach the performance, leave the performance and your demeanour during the performance. It can even extend into how you accept comments and compliments after a performance.

 

Performing is about sharing your  music with others, it’s a way of expressing yourself. It is a means of entertaining people and making them feel good. Here are some tips to help with stage presence:

 

  • Wear nice clothes. Black on black works, white on black, nothing too wildly patterned. Make sure it fits well, is clean and is not something you would wear on an average day. 
     

  • Stay away from too many accessories
     

  • Wear sensible shoes that go with your clothes, usually black. Girls, high heels are not great because you often  have to navigate steps. You might have to stand for a while so you do not want shoes that are uncomfortable. Guys, try shining your shoes. No running shoes, ever!
     

  • Be prepared
     

  • Walk up to the stage (or performance area) with confidence, even if you don’t feel it. Walk with your head up and your instrument help firmly. Walk with a purpose, not too fast and not too slowly.
     

  • Tune carefully with your accompanist. Take your time, it might feel like an hour but chances are it is only a few seconds. People prefer to hear you play in tune. Tune with the force of sound you will be playing in your piece. Tuning at pp level is absolutely no help if you are playing mf or f most of the piece. 
     

  • You may have to introduce yourself and your pieces. Have something ready, Speak slowly and clearly, Make sure you know how to pronounce the name of the piece and the composer.
     

  • Take a moment before you start to collect your thoughts and to take a few  (or even just  one) deep breaths. 
     

  • Look at your accompanist; make sure he/she is ready. Make eye contact.
     

  • If you are playing in a small ensemble make eye contact with everyone.
     

  • When you start, take a nice deep breath and use good body language to let the accompanist know you are starting. If the accompanist starts have your instrument up and ready at least the bar before you begin to play. Do not put your instrument up and begin playing suddenly. 
     

  • If something goes wrong, keep going. It is your accompanists job to find you, you keep playing with confidence . The accompanist has both your part and their part on their music. 

 

  • If you make a mistake, DO NOT  make a face or stop playing. Forget it and move on. Mistakes happen all the time and unless you point them out to the audience they won’t necessarily even notice, and if they do they will forget and forgive as long as you continue
     

  • Try not to furrow your brow, the audience will notice and you do not need to use up energy that way, put all your energy into the music.
     

  • If you are playing several movements, do not bow in between, the audience should not clap if, they do, you can give them a very slight head nod to acknowledge their appreciation  but proceed without interruption.
     

  • Wait a few seconds in between movements, try saying your name slowly 3 times. Do not attaca unless directed but the music
     

  • At the end, keep your instrument up to let the  music finish ringing out! Count to 2 or say your name twice in your head (or once if it is a long name)
     

  • BOW with a smile on your face
     

  • Do not hang you head or make faces no matter how you thought you played, we are always hardest on ourselves
     

  • Always smile at the end, it need not be a huge smile but smile and walk back to your seat quietly, no talking. If you have another piece to play pause in between without showing anything on your face except getting ready to play again.
     

  • If people compliment you after your performance, say thank you, do not go on and on about how you missed the F# in bar 29 or went flat at the end of the second phrase. If you tell them, “ No, it wasn’t good,” or something along those lines, you are actually telling them they are wrong, that they don’t know what they are talking about!
     

  • Just say thank you and smile.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

© 2016  Michelle Coon