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NEWS > Alumnae News > Practice Makes Perfect for Josephine

Practice Makes Perfect for Josephine

Classical singer Josephine Shaw, Class of 2021, now a second-year student at the Royal College of Music, was featured on BBC Click last month, as she put the latest performance technology to the test.

“I had an amazing time on BBC Click discussing and demonstrating the new performance laboratory at the Royal College of Music (RCM)’,” says Josephine. “I really enjoyed performing Purcell’s Sweeter Than Roses and chatting with reporter Spencer Kelly. I’m sure my fellow musicians would find a performance space like this very helpful.”

The RCM has used state-of-the-art video game software to create the multi-million-pound Performance Laboratory which allows students to experience a virtual standing ovation or even, worst case scenario, a slow hand clap to help master the nerves of standing in front of a live audience for the first time.

“I’ve always loved singing,” says Josephine. “But I do get nerves all the time.  Getting over them is a tricky balance.  Sometimes the adrenaline helps you, but you also don’t want the nerves to affect your singing or technique if you’re getting all tense.”

The specialist performance space can teach students how to manage their anxiety and get mentally and physically ready to do their best before they step out into the lights for real. It’s possible to change the venue, the acoustics, to vary whether it’s a full house or sparsely attended, and even the response of the audience, to allow them to prepare for all eventualities.

Josephine explains: “Getting that sense of acoustics means it’s not so huge a jump when you’re performing on stage. All the practise rooms that we have tend to be a much drier sound by comparison, so when it’s suddenly a much bigger space you have to fill, it’s great to get a bit of experience about what it might sound like ahead of time.”

You can see the story on BBC iPlayer: HERE

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