Stéphane Grappelli performing on violin

Stéphane Grappelli

“Before you play, you must prepare your way.”
Stéphane Grappelli, violinist
The Musician’s Way, p. 157

In my previous post, “The Preparation Timeline,” I contended that when we book a performance, an audition, or a recording session, a written timeline bolsters our creativity by helping us plan.

That is, it frees us to focus on our art.

But even when in the weeks leading up to an event everything runs smoothly, on the day of a performance numerous logistical matters need coordinating.

Mainly, we have to manage our practice and meals as well as ensure that our transportation, wardrobe, instruments, and equipment are ready to go.

Veteran musicians easily glide through those details, but less-experienced performers often misstep in the hours leading up to an event.

They might misplace directions, keys, music, or clothing and then become flustered as they scramble to set things right.

Or they’ll overpractice or under-eat, and then feel drained when they step on stage.The Musician's Way book cover

Write it Down, and Relax

A preperformance inventory is the antidote to preconcert chaos. It allows us to let go of worry and enjoy gearing up to perform. It also ensures that no organizational detail slips through our fingers.

“On the day of a performance numerous logistical matters need coordinating.”

In The Musician’s Way, the section “Preperformance Routines” (p. 157-163) sorts through the issues that come into play before we perform. It offers colorful examples and concludes with a sample inventory.

I’ve posted a free inventory document on the Downloads page at I encourage you to try it out, especially when you plan high-stakes events such as auditions, competitions, and recording sessions.

You may find that it has a strong confidence-boosting effect and, by minimizing many stresses, helps you be optimally expressive on stage.

Download a free preperformance inventory. Read more about performance preparation in The Musician’s Way.

Related posts
Awareness, focus, concentration
The centered performer
The preparation timeline
Projecting ease

© 2010 Gerald Klickstein