- - Reduce overthinking in performance
- - Increase musicality
- - Increase focus in performance
- - Aids musicality
Take the piece you’re working on and listen to a recording OR play through chunks and see what images and/or feelings come up in your mind.
Come up with some basic ideas, or an overview of the story and write some key points at the top of the score:
- Are there characters? How many? What is their relationship to each other (friends, lovers, enemies, etc.)?
- Where is the story located?
- What time of day or year is it?
- What is the general atmosphere: mournful, nostalgic, celebratory, rainy, theatrical?
Start adding details and see how specific you can be:
- What’s happening in the opening bar(s)?
- Is this an introduction of a scene, a transition, a conversation?
- Is there a character saying something?
- What are they saying/expressing?
- How are they saying it (internally, externally, more reserved, angrily, etc.)?
Mark down the key words or phrases on the relevant sections on your score. The more detailed the better, but of course avoid overloading your score with hundreds of tiny details. Try and find the right balance for yourself that allows you to express your story.
In performance, before starting to play, visualise the main elements of your story, as well as the opening images of the beginning, and try and get "into" the feelings of the story. It’s much easier for your mind to connect to and focus on an image or an emotion, so this can help you calm and centre yourself.