There are a few things you can do at home to help prepare for the Solo & Ensemble. First, practice!! Mindfully. Set a goal for a particular part of the music and try to meet it through your practice session. Second, listen!! Listen to many different recordings of your solo or ensemble to figure out what you want to do with your interpretation. This will also help you identify the form and memorize the piece easier. Lastly, perform!! It takes stamina, mental and physical, to perform a piece in its entirety. If you don't practice it, you can't do it. Gather an audience, anyone will do, and perform with the stage presence you want to achieve. Practice getting nervous and then dealing with the nerves so that when the contest comes, you are as prepared as you possibly can be. (If you need help with performance anxiety, check the blog archives for a very helpful video.)
We will be playing two pieces; Stand by Me will be with the sixth graders, and Royals will be our stand alone piece. There are only a couple of weeks from when we return to school until the Ice Cream Social, so we have to work very fast to get the pieces performance ready! The trickiest thing about pops music is by far counting the rhythms, so be sure you isolate measures that you are unsure about and practice counting them out loud using your subdivision syllables and a metronome at a very slow tempo. Remember to "sandwich" the measure by practicing getting into and out of it, and increase your tempo gradually. Happy Practicing!!!