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Performance Lab

Performance Lab meets once each month for the purpose of performing unpolished pieces for each other and workshopping individual pieces as a group. The purpose of Performance Lab is to grow in confidence as musicians through community building. Performance Lab begins in September and continues through May. Membership to a Performance Lab group is $40/month. 

Who is eligible?

All high school aged students and adult instrumentalists who are working on pieces of music that are longer than 24 measures. Beginners through advanced students are welcome. Most participants are students at Redbird, but other instrumentalists and students who take lessons elsewhere are welcome. Students should commit to meet each month for at least one semester. 

What is it like?

Performance Lab participants each come prepared to play something for the group that they have been working on. It should be something that has never been performed before and is still in progress. Participants can play all or part of a piece. Each participant introduces the piece and then performs it. The participant will then talk about what their performance experience was like. Each group member responds to the piece, noting what they thought, what they can relate to and if they have any ideas or suggestions. Redbird Cello teacher, Erin Flynn, will facilitate discussion. Each session we will visit relevant topics as a group such as performance anxiety, reflecting on recital experiences, goal setting and our identities as musicians. 

That sounds scary. Why should I participate?

Yes, performance can and has been scary for most musicians at some point. Exploring our vulnerability and normalizing performance in a peer group builds confidence and helps us learn to enjoy performing. Performing music can be rewarding and motivating. Signing up for a 10k might motivate you toward your daily workouts and lead to sense of empowerment when the race is complete, and performing music can work in the same way. Even better, music is meant to be an exchange between the performer, the composer and the audience, and not performing music means missing out on a huge part of what it means to be a musician.

Music is meant to be heard. If a tree falls in the woods and there is no one around to hear it, does it make a sound? 

Performance Lab members warm up to each other as time goes on and look forward to seeing each other each week. 

Performance lab gave me a wonderful sense of music community and made me feel less isolated as a cellist. It boosted my confidence playing around other people, and I really looked forward to it every month.


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