To perform most often means to sing, dance act or put on any kind of show. Perform also means, however, to carry out almost any function or action — to do something, in other words.
Parents love to watch their kids perform. Nothing delights mommy or daddy more than watching junior sing or dance in the school play. Later in life, though, they'll be happy when their kids perform acts of kindness or when they perform the duties required of them by their jobs. "The surgeon entertained the other doctors when he performed an aria from Rigoletto while he performed an appendectomy." Now that's impressive.