Month: August 2014

Performance Anxiety

Performance…. oh that can be a scary word. People often ask me, how do you do it? Get up in front of all sorts of people and sing? My answer is simply, I just love it! It makes me feel incredible! But… that wasn’t always the case. I wasn’t a born performer and I definitely experienced my fair of jitters. I still get them from time to time… but they usually disappear the second I open my mouth and start to sing. 🙂

Overcoming performance anxiety is not an easy task and when it comes down to it, continuing to perform in front of an audience is the only way to move past that anxiety. Feeling confident in your ability and how well you know your song, being relaxed and not worrying about what other people are thinking are also ways to help manage performance anxiety. I would even go so far as to say that having a terrible performance experience is a good experience! If you can get through that, you can get through anything and you realize quickly that it’s really no biggie! Growing up and studying music, I often found myself feeling anxious about performing. Now, being an anxious person and worrier by nature certainly doesn’t help! Lol! Studying music throughout elementary school, high school and college, I often felt like I was being judged, because I was being judged and marked – and that made me NERVOUS! The day it finally clicked and I realized it really doesn’t matter what this teacher or that teacher’s opinion of my singing is, was the first day I did not feel nervous. And that was during my final performance of my final year at Humber! It took me a long time to figure that out! And that no mark any teacher could ever give me would make a difference as to whether I would get booked for this gig or that one or whether I would be able to go on to open my own successful music school.

Being a person who loves performing, learning and adores teaching, it’s been imperative to me to find a better way to educate students about performance and performance anxiety. Which is why I run 2 recitals a year, offering EVERY student, regardless of ability, the opportunity to perform at each recital. There is no judgement, no prizes, just a fun performance in a local seniors residence where children, teens and adults get the opportunity to show their loved ones what they have learned, in a supportive, nurturing environment! Performance skills are so important in building self-confidence and self-esteem and also in helping students gain the skills to do things like deliver speeches in school, perform solos or participate in school theatre, make presentations and even put up your hand in class to answer a question in front of everyone. Believe it or not, that was something I dreaded in school. And although I’ve always been musical, I just didn’t feel right or confident or that it was ok to make a mistake when I was performing as a young student. I want all of my students today to be set up for success, to learn performance skills and feel confident and be able to let it go if they make a mistake! Sometimes the best things happen from mistakes. 🙂

I’m excited to be offering a new option for working on performance skills for young students this year, the Treble Maker’s children’s choir. The Treble Makers will perform as a group at our bi-annual recitals alongside our private lesson students in singing, piano, guitar and drums! Here’s a little clip of me performing with my band, Side B Vibe! Enjoy my performance! Miss Mandi


Learning in a Multi-Age Level Class

This video is such a great illustration of so many wonderful learning components that take place in our multi-age level Kindermusik class. It begins with learning about what dogs do by watching Miss Mandi with a stuffed dog. Then takes the families through the same physical movements as the dog. In this activity, it is obvious that we are practicing active listening skills and gross motor skills, which are both incredibly important skills in life, learning and school readiness. But there are many other skills at play here as well. The children are learning about working together as a group, practicing spatial relations as they traverse throughout the room being mindful of the other bodies that are also moving, learning body awareness and inhibitory control as they discover or practice mastering different types of movements and also move to specific cues. All the while, these parents are extremely supportive as they all get right in there rolling on the floor alongside the children! Engaged parents set the stage for success! Children are more apt to participate and learn when parents actively support that learning! Take a look! New classes begin this September!