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These are the PREP steps:
P = Perspective – Attitude/Mindset
R = Relax/Release tension – Singer’s Stretches /Meditate/Mindfulness/Breath Focus
E = Exercise/Execute/Engage – In practice or performance
P = Perform/Practice/Play
You can do these P.R.E.P steps every day, in the weeks leading to a gig & right before you get on stage.
Ideally preparing for a gig will be a daily habit so that you are always gig fit & ready for any opportunity that comes your way.
Using the PREP steps acronym, let’s take a deep dive into these three areas – daily as a maintenance technique, as part of your preparation in the weeks before a gig & on the day of your performance.
Daily PREP steps:
You always want to be gig-ready or as I call it, gig fit.
This is an all year round practice however, you can have a pre-performance runway at least 30 days prior to a heavier performing workload like touring or a run of shows where you get super focussed on daily actions to strengthen.
The three things I do every day are Sirens, Singers Stretches & Speaking Voice Mindfulness.
If you only have 5 mins – do this!
P = Perspective – I am doing this to keep a solid foundation for my voice. I habit stack my vocal care activities so they are automatic.
R = Relax/Release tension – How – Sirens / Singers Stretches/ Meditate I aim to meditate & stretch every morning as soon as I ave woken. Sometimes life gets in the way & I can’t get it done first thing. I try to do it later in the day to re-centre & refocus myself. You can do these elements as many times a day as you need!
P = Practice – Back to the Speaking Voice Mindfulness! This is the BEST hack that I have learnt. Using your speaking voice to extending your singing voice ability.
Weeks leading into performance PREP steps (30-90 days)
Along with my daily habits, I focus on creating a clear practice plan specifically to extend my vocal stamina, agility & ability specific to the songs I am performing.
Use a Practice Plan that includes a Song Study Method
The further you want to take your career as a singer, the harder you need to work & the more you need to practice.
You can pre-schedule & track your practices to help stay motivated. I use my vocal journal but you can use Google docs/sheets, an app or pen & paper.
Draw up the days of the week & schedule in & create space to jot down when, where & what you practiced. How long did you practice & how did your voice feel before & after the practice.
I ask my students to do this & send it through to me (along with videos of their practice focus points) for extra motivation & accountability.)
P = Perspective – know what you need to focus on in your practice session
E = Exercise – Vocal warm-up, vocal workout & technique focus ie; breath management, phrasing, lyrics/diction, vocal quality, pitch
P = Practice/Play – to be great in your performances, you need to practice & have fun. To remind yourself of the awesomeness of singing whilst you are practicing, pick a song you love singing that isn’t necessarily part of your upcoming performance & sing it just for fun & cos it makes you feel good.
Day of performance PREP steps
P = Perspective – To combat any performance anxiety, think more about the audience than about yourself. Focus on the energy that you are about to give them. Know that 99.9% of audience members are rooting for you to succeed! Any thoughts of failure or messing up make the performance about YOU & not your audience.
R = Relax/Release tension – Singers’ Stretches/Meditate/Mindfulness/Breath Focus – yet again the singers stretches & meditation turn up! These you can do an hour or so before it’s showtime. Take a few minutes before you go on stage to centre yourself with a few deep breaths & a rag doll if you can!
E = Execute/Engage – Smash that performance out of the park by being completely present & focussed in what you are doing. Don’t worry about the audience or visualising mistakes as they will actualise! Trust that you are ready to go & focus on sharing your music!
P = Perform – JUST DO IT! Get out there & show them what you got! Enjoy yourself & all the preparation that you did to get you to that moment.
Performance PREP questions
Are you ready for your next performance?
If no, have you got a plan in place to get ready?
Do you make time to practice?
If not, why not?
You NEED to be performing, you NEED to practice & have fun while doing bot.
It’s easier to have fun when you feel prepared.
Do you have PREP steps of your own already? Share them with me below, please.