Concentration in performance: a checklist

Here is a suggested checklist of items which the performer (that's you!) can apply "relaxed attention" to in performance, when you find yourself back in a "thinking" type of consciousness.

A (partial) Checklist for Concentration and Calibration during Performance.

  • Your Rhythmic accuracy.
  • Articulation of the tune you are playing.
  • The tune another instrument is playing.
  • The Singer.
  • Timing - are you in sync with the other instruments?
  • The reflected sounds of the ensemble (or your solo instrument)
  • The ensemble sound overall.
  • Other instruments - for example is the bass going up or down?
  • The conductor, or leader of the ensemble, his/her gestures, body language.
  • Breathing of the ensemble - String Quartets use breathing to synchronise phrasing.
  • The printed music, if reading you willl be reading a number of measures ahead.
  • The relationships of your head-neck-torso

By looking at this list it should be obvious that you won't have time to be finding notes on your instrument during a performance! Nor will you really have time to get nervous or indulge in stage fright if you are continually bringing your attention back to the tasks at hand. Try it now! These are practical skills which improve by doing!