How to Analyze & Improve Your Recital Performance

Now that APA’s Winter Music Recital is over and you have had the chance to showcase your hard work to parents, family, and friends, it is time to analyze your performance to ensure success at your next recital. The best way to do this is to watch a video of your performance. Oftentimes, the way we think we look and sound on stage is a bit different from how the audience sees and hears us. Watching a recording of our performance can really help us see things from the audience’s perspective

Once you have a copy of your recording, have a seat in a quiet area, grab some paper andsomething to write with, and follow these steps…

First Viewing: Watch your performance for the first time without any judgment of yourself. Just play the recording and take note of how the performance made you feel as a viewer. Was it entertaining? Did it really capture your interest? Did it make you feel a certain way–happy? sad?

Second Viewing: Watch it again and this time write down what you did really well. For example, maybe your dynamics were clear, or your technique was great, or you appeared very confident and professional on stage. No matter how you felt about your performance, force yourself to write at least 3 things that you did well. We are usually our harshest critics, so take this time to be kind to yourself and acknowledge the positives

Third Viewing: This time, watch the video with more of a critical eye. Pick out a few things that you feel you could have done a bit better. The goal is not to be mean to yourself, it is just to give yourself some things to work on in this next semester to improve your next performance. All performers, no matter how much experience we have, can always improve. It doesn’t mean we are never good enough, it just means that as a performer, there are always new ways to make a performance even more entertaining and positive for the audience and for ourselves. No performance is perfect, and you should not expect to be. The main goals for all of us are to improve over time.


The best way to do this is to give ourselves goals to work on and the consistent practice needed to reach those goals. Here are a few things to look out for when watching your performance that most of us usually can work toward making even better.

Was your introduction clear and confident? If you made a mistake in your performance, did you keep going or did you stop or pause and start all the way over again? Did your expression match the mood of your song? For example, if your song was a cheery, holiday song, did you look happy during your performance? How was the tempo or speed of your song? Did you play it too quickly? Too slowly? How was your technique? When your performance was over, did you acknowledge the crowd’s applause with a smile and bow, or did you just get off the stage as quickly as possible?

Now that you have viewed your performance multiple times, and have written down the positives and the negatives, you have a clearer picture of exactly what you need to focus on improving for your next performance. Write these goals down in your practice notebook so you have a daily reminder. Remember, improvement is only possible with specific goals AND consistent practice, make sure to start working on this now so you are set up for success at your next recital!


Tiffany SullivanAPA Music Director

APA Theater department is delighted to announce the Spring Mini-Musical Sessions!

Each session will take place January-May, and will conclude with a performance. Oak Creek will be producing “Robin Hood and the Merry Band” in partnership with the Oak Creek Community Education & Recreation department, and Franklin will be producing “Alice in Wonderland” in partnership with the Franklin Education and Recreation department. Enrollment will begin on December 1st. Click above to register, or please CLICK HERE for more info.


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