Performing in Lockdown

Jonathan Delbridge sitting at piano

Like all musicians, my way of sharing live music with audiences changed dramatically with the Covid-19 pandemic. I was already regularly posting on social media and sharing videos on YouTube. However, I had little experience of broadcasting concerts live online. When it was clear that performances with audiences would be unable to happen for a while, I was determined to find alternative ways to share live music and chose to do this using Facebook live. In this blog post I want to share a few of my experiences of this.

Focusing my practising!

Having to perform is a great motivation to keep me focused in my practising! Nothing would stop me playing the piano regularly as it is something I love, but having performances to work towards ensures that I practise effectively, rather than just simply playing through pieces.

Learning new repertoire

In the first series of concerts during the lockdown, I included requests from audience members and this was a great way of increasing my repertoire. I was introduced to a variety of pieces which I hadn’t previously learnt. Many of these are shorter compositions which will make great encores in concert programmes.

Interacting with the audience

While I missed having a live audience in the room with me, giving online concerts encouraged me to interact with listeners in a different way. I enjoyed reading all the comments and responding to them.

Will online concerts continue?

While I can’t wait for live concerts with audiences to return, online concerts will certainly form an important part of my career in the future. I will continue to use these shorter performances to explore buried musical treasures and already have a series of concerts planned, looking at the music of the English composer George Pinto. Broadcasting concerts online is also an excellent way of reaching a wider audience who perhaps live too far away to travel to a concert venue.

Finally, I’d like to thank all of you who have regularly listened to my online concerts. I’ve really valued being able to share music with you in this way and am so grateful to read all your positive comments! If you’d like to keep up to date with future online concerts and, please join my mailing list.

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