The Royal College of Music, Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana (Lugano) and London-based creative design consultancy Studiohead have developed a new performance simulator, complete with realistic back-stage and on-stage areas, as well as an interactive virtual audience and audition panel.
Musicians typically rehearse far away from their audiences and in practice rooms that differ significantly from the concert venues in which they aspire to perform. Due to high costs and the inaccessibility of such venues, much current international music training lacks repeated exposure to realistic performance situations, with students learning all too late (or not at all) how to manage the stresses of performing and the demands of their audiences.
The performance simulator operates in two modes: (i) concert and (ii) audition simulation. It is a portable facility that allows musicians to develop and refine valuable professional skills, including enhancement of communication on stage and effective management of performance anxiety.
The BBC Radio 3 programme The Scalpel and the Bow explored how interactive, simulated performance environments are now being used to train musicians and surgeons to perform under pressure. Visit the page for recorded interviews, pictures, and information from the project.
Williamon A, Aufegger L, & Eiholzer H (2014), Simulating and stimulating performance: Introducing distributed simulation to enhance musical learning and performance, Frontiers in Psychology, 5(25), 1-9 [DOI].