December 15th, 2022 • Teacher Tips
The Power of Positivity
Provided by Florencia Zuloaga, piano Artist-Faculty
In the music world, December is a busy time of the year, and the calendar is often marked with seasonal recitals. Performing in front of an audience plays a vital role in the development of a musician’s career. After all the hard work, the long hours of practice, the dress rehearsals, and the numerous preparations… finally, the studio recital is done! Before embarking on your new repertoire plans for 2023, I invite you to take a moment to celebrate the accomplishment of your recent performance. Such accomplishment might look like mastering the technical demands of a difficult piece, or memorizing a particularly intricate passage, or maybe even realizing that “the one” piece assigned by your teacher was actually full of nuances, and worth learning!
Reflecting after a live performance is part of a continuing learning cycle at the instrument and should not be overlooked. In her presentation at NCKP 2021, leading piano pedagogue Dr. Barbara Fast highlighted the importance of positive actions and their critical role in practice strategies. Due to ancient survival needs, humans have a stronger memory for negative experiences. However, it takes a full twelve seconds of holding a positive experience in the conscious mind to transfer such experience from short-term memory to long-term memory. As you reflect about your recent performance, name three things that went well (be as detailed as possible!) and three things that need improvement (what steps can I implement today to address them?).