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Arts & Entertainment

Performance Techniques: Learning to Perform Live

Reba McEntire

Lesson time 10:51 min

There’s a lot to learn when it comes to creating an effective performance, both mentally and physically. Reba discusses the importance of feedback, psyching yourself up, and what you can learn from other performers.

Reba McEntire
Teaches Country Music
Reba teaches her approach to making great country music and navigating the business in 21 video lessons.
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I think performing is really important to an artist because it gives them an outlet of all their energy and their creativity and their need to be on stage. I've always loved to perform. I like to have that attention. It's good attention. It's not bad attention. Nobody wants that. So to have-- to be on stage performing you get to do stuff that you don't get to do anywhere else. When I started in this business 40 years ago it was honky-tonks, bars, dance halls, rodeo, arenas, is anywhere I could perform. So a little bit at a time, you learn your craft, you see what you want in the future, when you can afford it, when you can get a better stage instead of just everybody being flat on the floor, and you dream and you wish. And then you go and watch other people what they do and what they don't do, and so you add that to your checklist. And that's what helps you to improve your show. I have stolen so many ideas. I'm saying I-- my team and I have stolen so many ideas from other acts. I mean, we all do that. I mean, how many people can come out of the ceiling or fly over the audience? And we've done it. Everybody's steals, borrows, and some of them say they think them up themselves. I was like, oh, yeah, I'll tell you exactly where we got that one. But it's because we're paying attention, and we're admirers. I mean, imitation is a huge form of flattery. I have watched so many people. The people I was always a fan of had it, had that charm and great presence on stage, so I copied them. You know, when you watch the Statler brothers, Mel Tillis, Red, Steagall. So many people, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette. When they get up, and-- I could not watch them enough. I would have sat through their concert three times in one setting, because not only what they sing, but what they say in between their songs. It's just-- it was just so endearing. I was just like, oh, my gosh. I want to be just like them. It used to be very hard for me to go out on stage if I was in a bad mood, or I felt bad, or I was tired or sick. Nowadays when I go onstage, right before I hit it I'm like, this is going to be the best show ever. This is going to be the greatest show. Because your subconscious is sitting there going, how's it going to be today? Are we going to have a good time or we going to have a bad time? Because if you say this sucks. I hate this. Yeah, me too. This is awful. But if you say, this is going to be the best time. Your subconscious is in there going, oh, man. We're going to party down here. It's going to be great. So it's kind of psyching yourself up, but it's all in positive attitude. I still get nervous when I go on stage, especially if I've got a new outfit on, if it's a new song and I'm worried about remembering the words, but it's the adrenalin that I get that I really like. No...

For Love of Country

You know her songs. Her Oklahoma charm. Now learn directly from Reba in her first-ever online class. Join her as she records a never-before-heard song, creates a new acoustic version of Fancy, breaks down her hits, and delivers emotional performances on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. This is more than a music class. This is Reba's life, business, and country music MasterClass.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

This class really spoke to me, as a country singer/songwriter myself. Reba's been through it all for 40 years and has some great advice.

Reba's insights into connecting with an audience were to me the most valuable items that I could take away. That direct connection makes the performance memorable, and desirable.

Fun to watch, honest and interesting inputs. Would see it again. Loved it - especially to hear that she goes with her gut feeling and spirituality.

What a brilliant woman and role model. Reba's insight and information goes far beyond the music industry and into excellent lessons in life.


Gretchen T.

OMG I love that she said you better love that stage or there are thousands that would take your place. So true, its living the dream.

Eddy J.

These lessons are invaluable. Really love the performance tips and behind the scenes recording.

Bob J.

I was in a 4-piece rock band while in the military. We were playing Neil Young's POWDERFINGER one night and I got lost in the story. When the song was over, it felt like I had just traveled in time.


Good advice the show must go on. Funny how something happens that is unpleasant, that leads us up the ladder of success.

A fellow student

What a great lesson in humility here Reba! Many of us need to be reminded of our blessings


Reba's humility is so inspiring. I have had the pleasure of seeing her in concert twice myself and I have watched several of her recorded live performances and she truly does every single thing that she talks about in this lesson, from watching and borrowing from those that she admires, to pushing through embarrassment and adversity, to admitting her mistakes right there in the moment, laughing or joking, and moving on. She truly puts the audience at ease and every show is just a beautiful conversation between her and the audience. A truly amazing artist and performer.

Donna G.

I think Reba's advice about performing is helpful in all kinds of public appearances.

A fellow student

Gary M Thomas Washougal WA I worked in the movie business, for a while, before becoming a school teacher and preacher. But while I was in junior college I was a standup comic doing impersonations. Before finishing college I did a stint in the Navy. The Navy was good. I spent a year on Midway Island and did announcing for my duty. Then it was Alameda, CA. I got a chance to try out for the All-Navy Talent Show. My imitations were utilized. The Ed Sullivan people put together a Navy show. I was to do two of my voices: Jimmy Stewart and Marlon Brando. I had a professional band behind me. I had this fancy exit where i went into a Col. Bogy march. I tried to do the exit about three times before the band leader had a fit. Talk about embarrasment. I never did figure what I was doing wrong. Ed Sullivan was out of town so they had a New York favored personality help me to do a new finish.

Angela D.

Reba's outfits are stunning and perfect for her! It really adds to the experience and is also important to the performance!

Marissa C.

I don't feel so silly now when I forget words or lines. I enjoyed this lesson. Thanks Reba!!