It’s still nearly a month until Halloween, but it’s not too soon to begin planning for your holiday performances. In fact, now is the time, before the craziness of the holiday season closes in, to get everything in order so that you can actually enjoy the holidays this year.
1. Check your calendar. Make sure all your dates are written in correctly in your calendar now. Don’t trust your memory. As those last minute gigs come in, you don’t want to find yourself having to remember if you promised someone a rehearsal on that evening. Double check any tentative dates or times.
2. Make sure you have all the music you need. Whether you are performing solo or with an ensemble, now is the time to get your music together. Don’t just think you have it; actually hunt your music out. Get it out of the drawer and put it in a dedicated December folder. You don’t want to be in a last minute scramble looking for misplaced music. Compile a list of all the music you need for the season. Plan out a practice schedule for any new pieces.
3. Schedule time to do holiday things. Whether you are an early bird shopper or a last minute one, make sure you plan the time you would like for those errands and social times. If you block out time in your calendar now, you will have it later. You deserve a life too!
4. Brush up on your holiday standards. Whether it’s “The Christmas Song” or the “Waltz of the Flowers,” a little refresher practice now will save you stress and aggravation later.
5. Do preventive car maintenance. The last thing you need is be stranded between gigs because of a car problem. You can’t predict every problem, but take the time now to prevent the ones you can. Change the oil, check the tires, replace the windshield wipers. Not sure what to do? Ask your mechanic.
6. Check your supply of strings. Replenish your supply before an emergency happens. For want of a string, a gig was trashed…
7. Pack a stand light. I love these battery operated lights by Mighty Bright. They are compact, cordless and dependable. If you have them in your bag, you never need to worry about a candlelit church.
8. Prime the pump. We could always use a few more gigs, right? Send a quick email to past clients to mind them you would love to play for them again.
9. Buy gifts now for your students or your clients. I always compose or arrange a short holiday piece for my students, and I usually start on that at this time of year.
10. Extra credit: add one new piece to your holiday repertoire. Play something out of the ordinary for you, something just for fun.
After all, shouldn’t you enjoy the holidays, too?