The experience of watching live music is something special. Every time you get the chance to sit and listen to a person or a group of people perform, you are watching hours, days, weeks, and sometimes months of preparation, culminating in a performance for you. As musicians, it’s hard to avoid comparing our own musicianship with the performers we are watching. This can either be very helpful, or it can be damaging to our own experiences the next time we are in the performer’s roll.
Ask yourself: how do you react when you hear an error from a performer you are watching? I will admit, there have been times when I am hoping to hear a mistake, to in some way validate my own errors, past and future. This kind of listening, however, does not make for a very enjoyable experience and doesn’t do anything to make me feel any better about my own mistakes.
A much better way to help your own performance, and actually enjoy the concert you are attending, is to root for the player you are watching, reveling in the beautiful music they are making. The way you listen to music will inform your own concept of what the audience is thinking when it’s your turn on stage. As an audience member, if you are listening with a positive, encouraging spirit, then when you are performing you will feel that same energy from your audience.
Next time you get the chance to enjoy a concert, see if you can stay in this positive mindset throughout the performance. Actively engage with the performer or performers on stage, sending them all the good vibes and encouragement you can, and don’t let a mistake pull you out of the enjoyment of their music. Focus on all of the good things happening on stage, and the next time you are performing, maybe mistakes won’t distract you as much from the beautiful music you are sharing with your audience.
Enjoy your next concert!
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