Workshop: Performance Tracking

Keeping track of all the details that go into learning and rehearsing bagpipes and drums is a daunting task. Competition schedules can be as demanding as one’s day-to-day work and home schedule. We’ve already discussed how keeping a running log of your lessons and rehearsals can help keep track of playing goals and progress in “Tracking Your Rehearsals.” With all the things that keep modern pipers and drummers busy, it certainly can help to document things for easy reference and recall. But what about performances? After all, the biggest reason we rehearse music is to eventually perform it. It is a good idea to also keep track of the fruits of your labors—competition and other performances.

One’s bagpipe or drum playing career—whether band or solo—can span years. The performances will be many and can be varied and special and it can become nearly impossible to remember everything about each one. Your performances deserve as much attention as your rehearsals in order to evolve and progress. Keeping track of your performance activities, music played, unique circumstances, mistakes, and achievements can work toward making you a better “performing” musician, and give you guidance to structure and focus your rehearsal time.

This grid provides a template for keeping track of the key facts about your competitions, gigs, and concerts, and provides space for quick notes. Jot down what went well, what worked, what didn’t, the material played, and anything else that will help you. Copy the grid and create a small “recipe-style” file that collects them. Over time you just might be amazed (and impressed) by where you’ve been and what you’ve accomplished.

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