Preparing for Recitals

Recitals can be nerve-wracking, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a bad performance. Over years of teaching and helping students prepare for recitals, we’ve developed some tips and advice to help you to feel ready to go on stage with confidence.


Being prepared for a recital is the most important factor in how well your performance will go, and it depends on the practice time you’ve put in. Hopefully, you’ve already established a practice routine, because performances are something you cannot cram for at the last minute. If you do not already have a practice schedule, start now by talking to your teacher about how much time they feel you should be putting in each week and start keeping track through the online Practice Log in your BSM Student Account. How easy is that?

For more tips on practicing, refer to our post on Helping Your Child Practice for Music Lessons.


Nervous about playing in front of an audience? Get some family or friends together to have a practice run! Include your opening and closing bows to have the full effect. Make sure you really treat the practice performance just like a real one, without stopping in the middle of your piece, even if you’ve made a mistake. The audience will likely only notice a mistake if you make it obvious - like making a funny face!


For many students nerves can really get in the way of their performing, which is completely normal for all musicians! To help you get rid of some of those jitters, it’s a great idea to have a little pre-performance routine before going on stage. Here are some ideas:

Deep breathing

Take a cue from the Navy Seals and try a breathing technique to relax and calm down. Try their 4x4x4 technique, where you breath in for 4 seconds, out for 4 seconds, for 4 minutes. This should help relax your body and ease any nerves.

Body Stretches

Stretches not only help you relax your body, but will also help you get warmed-up physically, which is important for all musicians to do before a performance.

Visualize your performance

Since it can often be difficult to get that little bit of extra warm-up time just before you have to step on stage that we all inevitably wish we had, a great way to stay focused is to take a moment to visualize your performance as if you’re playing it at your best. This can give you that little boost in both concentration and confidence to make a great performance.

Eat a banana

It may sound odd, but bananas have natural beta-blockers that help with pre-performance butterflies and shakes and are a great snack to have on-hand before a performance. If this appeals to you, it’s usually best to eat one about 30 minutes before your performance.

Want more tips on how to prepare for recitals? Ask your teacher what their pre-recital rituals are!

We hope these tips help you feel a bit more prepared for your performance. Baltimore School of Music strives to make the student recital environment welcoming and supportive, and we invite your friends and family to join us. We’ll see you at the recital on June 18th!

James Lowe