Nicole Kmoch wrote an incredible piece for the Smart Music Educator blog entitled “Perform Early, Perform Often: The Power of Informance.”
She believes, “performing early and often can be a great way to reduce the anxiety students experience during performances. It also offers an opportunity to make all parents and guardians aware of – and a bigger part of – the process of learning an instrument. Rather than trying to program a full concert with students who may know only 3-5 notes, I set out to create an informance.”
Transforming Beginning Band Concerts
Instead of working for an entire semester towards a concert performance, having multiple, shorter performances can have numerous benefits.
“It’s a chance for students to showcase what they can do and an opportunity to educate parents about the process and how they can help support their students at home. In addition to several opportunities to perform solo and in small groups, the informance gives many students an opportunity to speak to the audience.”
Getting Outside the Classroom
“In our educational environment, students are very accustomed to performing while sitting at a desk, in a quiet atmosphere, on a test where they are scored only on their own knowledge. Yet in music ensembles, we ask them to showcase what they know on a stage with lights, microphones, and an audience which is prepared to give them immediate feedback on their performance. It’s very different.
Young musicians approach performance opportunities with a wide range of comfort levels. Some are eager to share and enjoy the spotlight. Others are terrified at just the thought. Performing early in the process helps them to discover the joy found in performing together. It takes the mystery out of the stage and what a performance looks and feels like. Once some of the build-up and anxiety is removed, it simply becomes something that we do together.
Performance, Demonstration, and Education
Informances also offers the flexibility to have students that are ready and willing to perform to help with the demonstrations for the audience. Opportunities range from demonstrating a buzz on a brass mouthpiece to performing a more advanced piece while exhibiting excellent tone. An informance allows you to differentiate your performance to include all students.”
Learning in the Spotlight
And make sure to visit the Teaching Tips Archive for more great ideas.