Winning a competition is like winning the lottery. It’s hard enough to be placed in an area that has a lot of musicians. I live in Dallas, so I would know. But not being prepared that morning will only decrease the chances even more. Start out your day confident with a good breakfast, a good night’s sleep, etc. The following are steps I take throughout the evening before/morning of a competition or concert:

1: Practice no more than 3 hours the day before

  • Practice slowly, do not go through the entire piece fast.
  • Try not to get too tightened up when playing

2: Go to sleep early, preferably around 8 pm and 9 pm

  • Eat a balanced dinner, with carbohydrates, vegetables, fruit, protein, etc.
  • Do not have anything beside you that may be distracting i.e. phone

3: Wake up approximately 3 hours before you are playing (depends on travel)

  • Eat a good, energizing breakfast
    • Smoothie
    • Fruit
    • Yogurt
    • No carbohydrates, blood from your brain will go to your stomach for digestion
  • Wash face to be awake

4. Practice 30 min at most to prevent exhaustion

  • Do not run through the piece until you get to the building for warm-up
  • Only practice sections of difficulty and start slow

5. On the way to the competition/performance, listen to the piece

  • Once arrived, do not warm-up for more than 15 minutes
  • Do five-minuted vibrato without bow to keep fingers warm while waiting (see tutorial in technique tab)

6. Good luck, do your best, and play well for YOURSELF!


If you know any methods to keep confident, feel free to comment below!


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