To remain an effective performer…
by STEPHEN P BROWN
Performers perform to have some sort of impact on others.
Otherwise, there is no reason, justification, or purpose to performing!
Particularly music… the language of emotions.
Musicians communicate with other human beings (and sometimes animals – check out this audience!) using this language we literally cannot put into words.
But no conversation is one-sided.
Can you imagine?!
The only thing you EVER did in life was attend lectures.
The ONLY thing lecturers did in life was talk TO others.
Imagine it – no two-way communication, no observation of body language, of facial expressions, of feedback, no sharing of opinions, no listening to how others feel.
What sort of world would that be?
Yet so many performers do exactly that – they perform and push their music outwards, without any consideration of the emotions/ feelings/ message the audience may be receiving. In fact, I will go so far as to say that the majority of performers these days do not even make conscientious decisions about the emotions they are trying to share!
So, how do performers remain effective?
How do we stay alert to the impact we have on those around us when we perform?
Believe it or not, the most effective way to remain an effective performer, is to attend performances!
Yes, go to concerts.
It can be tough as most of the time we feel like we’re on a busman’s holiday.
But it keeps us fresh, on the receiving end of “performing” and that gives us credibility for when we perform ourselves.
Performers should attend performances.
The picture below is an example of a performance I recently attended, at which quadriplegic cancer survivor Joni Eareckson Tada led 13,000 people in unaccompanied harmonized singing. Powerful and impacting, for sure, and very inspiring for my own performances. I got to experience what I want my audiences to experience.
And THAT is a lesson that cannot be taught – it MUST be experienced.
Go to a concert!
Because there’s more to music than just the music.
Stephen P Brown is a Conductor of orchestra, choirs, concert bands and musicals, as well as a composer. He is the General Director of the Dunedin Music Society, Head Spark Plug of the Concert University, and a Professional Artist Grantee of Creative Pinellas. You can find his concert schedule here, a sample of his compositions here, and listen to his podcast Classic Jabber here.