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How to Feel Awesome at Star Search

With Star Search fast approaching, many corps officers, assistants, and volunteers are preparing budding musicians and artists daily. Here are 13 quick tips for helping your students feel awesome leading up to, during and after that exciting/terrifying day.

  1. During rehearsals, create an environment where it is understood how to react when other people in the group make a mistake. The leader is the only one who should correct students, everyone else should be encouragers.
  2. Instill an understanding with your students that mistakes should be transformative, not a performance-stopper. Teach them long before the performance to always KEEP GOING.
  3. Find opportunities before Star Search to perform your piece! Bring in a friend, folks from the building or invite student’s families to attend a Sunday presentation.
  4. Before the big day, open up conversations about what behavior is expected at Star Search. How should we treat other participants? Why are we going? What can we learn from watching others?
  5. Remind your students that adjudicators all want them to be awesome! They are being watched by people who want them to succeed, so even if everything falls flat, there will still be encouragement available.
  6. Create a pre-performance ritual: a song, prayer, clapping routine… something that gets your students in the zone.
  7. Always run through your piece at least once on-site before performing.
  8. Check out the stage/room before your performance time to scope out any issues your students may face.
  9. Brace yourself; no matter how prepared you are something will always go wrong. Don’t beat yourself up. But… knowing that, you should probably carry a just in case bag filled with the items they may forget: bobby pins, hair spray, valve oil, water bottles, extra costumes, nylons…
  10. The moment after is key. Your performers will either leave the stage feeling great or awful. Be there to meet them as they exit the stage with an encouraging smile on your face.
  11. If your student exits the stage upset, remind them of what they did well.
  12. After the presentation is not the time to critique. What’s done is done. Leave corrections for the rehearsal hall.
  13. Take time to complement other participants and congratulate winners. Set an example for your students.
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