Most of us listen to music every day. However, if we were asked what would be good music to perform to, would it be easy to answer? Maybe or maybe not.
Whether you’re choosing music for a show performance, such as an upcoming Christmas show, or for a competition program, here are some tips for choosing music, especially in figure skating.
1. Start with finding a notebook and pen.
2. Write down any pieces of music you really like and make you feel like moving.
3. Listen to these pieces of music while standing up (if you have the pieces of music – or you can search for and listen to them on the Internet). See how the songs make you feel, if you naturally begin moving to them, and if you can imagine skating to the music.
4. Look on iTunes or Amazon to listen to music clips. You can search specific music terms or genres. Try classical, opera, movie soundtracks, tango, skating music, etc.
5. If you’ve found a song you like, searching the Internet, including Youtube is a helpful tool. You can see what the background is for the music and often find images. On YouTube, you might find a music video or clips from a movie. It helps in getting the entire feel for the music.
6. If you’ve not already brought your coach into the process, now is the time. Your coach most likely will have some ideas already or a style of music he or she thinks would suit you best for this program or season.
7. Share your ideas with your coach. Your coach may prefer the music being put on a mix CD, songs being e-mailed to him or her, links to the music being e-mailed, or listening to the music with you. Often it is helpful for your coach to be able to listen to the music by e-mail or CD and then for your coach to listen to the music with you and see how you move to the music.
8. Listen to any ideas your coach has for music. It’s helpful to have an open mind when listening to new music.
9. Now you and your coach may be narrowing down the song ideas and selecting a favorite song or some favorite songs.
10. The final selection process can be very simple sometimes, or it can be very difficult. The thing to remember is that the skater needs to like the music and the coach should approve of the selection. If the skater doesn’t like the piece of music, it will be difficult to create the necessary emotion and passion on the ice. It’s important to feel the music or feel excited in some way to start the program.
It is also very important to remember that the coach knows skating competition and performance. A coach should have the skater’s best interest in mind, so if your coach is expressing concern about the music selection, please listen. This doesn’t mean you won’t be able to skate to that music piece necessarily.
However, there may be a reason – such as the song has been overused as skating music, it doesn’t suit you, or it is not suitable in general. It will be worth carefully listening to your coach’s reasoning. You may want to reconsider your music choice, or it may be that your coach needs to know why you feel passionate about the music.
11. Agree on a piece of music with your coach and family.
12. Love your music and enjoy choreographing your new program to it!
Each coach may work differently with his or her students in relation to music. It is important to work with your coach’s way and to have your coach’s input throughout the process.
These tips can also work in finding music for other performance. Try it out for a play that needs music, etc. Remember, though, the director is your coach in that scenario.
How do you like to find your music? Do you have a certain method for choosing music, or do any of these tips work for you? Good luck in finding your next music!