How to Bow at Your Recital
Walk to the instrument. Audience will clap briefly to acknowledge their pleasurable anticipation of your coming performance.
Nod to acknowledge their applause. Smile! (Ok, try not to frown!)
Sit down and adjust bench. Take as long as you need to to get the correct height and distance from the keyboard.
Collect your thoughts for a few moments.
- Make sure your foot is on the correct pedal.
- Relax your shoulders and tongue.
- "Start" the piece in your head before you set one string in motion. (What do you suppose the "famous performers" are doing when they compose themselves before playing? Yes, this very thing!) Consider: (1) tempo (2) mood
(3) dynamic level (4) the notes in the first two or three measures so you "have the tune going in your head".
- Put your hands on the keyboard, your fingers on the first notes.
Play in the tempo you have just set.
After the piece is complete, keep your hands at the keyboard for a count of 10. Next, pick up your hands (and foot from pedal at the same time, if applicable). Then stand up. (Stop the music. Move your hands. Stand up. is the summary.)
When you stand, audience will clap again. Bow from the waist, counting to three as you look at your toes.
If the audience is still clapping, take another bow. You deserve it!
If you have another piece, be seated and repeat this process.
If not, smile and walk off the stage.
If you use music, here are the added steps:
- Come on stage and acknowledge applause. Hold your music down to your side. Don't grasp it to your chest, as this indicates you are nervous and hanging on for dear life!
- Sit down and put your book on the music desk. DO NOT put the book down before acknowledging your applause. Your audience is clapping for your playing, not for your ability to put the book on the music desk. Do not insult them by turning to "housekeeping duties" when they are clapping for you!
- Compose yourself, as above.
- Take your bow(s).
- Then pick up your book and leave the stage.
copyright 2002, Martha Beth Lewis, Ph.D.
Contact me about reprint permission.
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