Putting it together: preparing for your group’s performance
Having considered what makes a good performance, and how to run effective rehearsals, you are ready to start preparing for your group performance. Make sure you’ve carefully read the appropriate achievement standard (found in the course information page). Your teacher will also go through this with you in class. In addition to this, you will also take a look at some exemplars of achieved, merit and excellence for the group performance standard (at NCEA level appropriate for your year).
Group Performance Planning Tool
Make a copy of the following document and complete it. You should share it with your teacher so they can see the completed version. Your teacher will facilitate a discussion as part of ‘Part 2’ in the document below which should help you to firm up the members of your group.
The First Rehearsal
Firstly, remember what you’ve learnt about what makes a successful rehearsal—those skills will be important to practice and employ right from the first rehearsal. A good starting point is to pick a section of the song you’ve chosen and aim to get through that together in the first rehearsal. Depending on your experience, this might be as little as getting a single riff together or the first couple of bars of a verse through to going through an entire song. Your first rehearsal should help you get a feel or the pace at which things will move.
First off, it is really important that you find time to practice your part before each rehearsal. Rehearsals are for sorting out ensemble issues, not for learning your part. At the end of each rehearsal you should set ‘homework’ for the next rehearsal so that you come prepared.
Here are some of the issues that you might face in rehearsals as you move forward:
- Group members might be away—plan on having some rehearsals with not everyone there. Whilst this is not always ideal, it can also be beneficial as it allows you to focus on different thing when only part of the group is there.
- You get stuck in a rut and feel like you’re not improving or you’re getting sick of your piece. If this happens, it might be a good time to get some peer or teacher feedback to help reinvigorate your rehearsals. Another option is to video your rehearsal and then watch it back—this can often reveal things that might give you new focus and direction.
- Access to equipment. Whilst we have a reasonable amount of equipment, there will be issues in some instances (for example if more than one group needs to rehearse with a drum kit). Plan on having to do some rehearsals ‘acoustically’ if you are an electric band.
Practice performances and assessment
Check your course timeline for when you will be doing your practice assessment and your actual assessment. It is important that you are constantly monitoring your progress towards meeting these deadlines. If you’re working hard in rehearsal, but still struggling, speak to your teacher. It may also be the case that you’re ready perform ahead of these deadlines. If that is the case, you should take the opportunity to do so as this will allow your more time on subsequent assessments.