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#1239805 - 07/29/09 04:43 PM Does it help if you appear nervous?  
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keyboardklutz Offline
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I've always thought accepting nerves in performance but ignoring the reality was the way to go. By being calm and not appearing nervous I thought I was helping my pupils. Would it have been better to appear nervous? Is my calmness an affront to their rank timidity?


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#1239815 - 07/29/09 04:48 PM Re: Does it help if you appear nervous? [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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Chris H. Offline
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Do you mean being nervous when your students perform?

I feel nervous for them but wouldn't show it. They need to feel that you have total confidence in them.


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#1239829 - 07/29/09 04:59 PM Re: Does it help if you appear nervous? [Re: Chris H.]  
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Is it that simple?


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#1239835 - 07/29/09 05:06 PM Re: Does it help if you appear nervous? [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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Chris H. Offline
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I think so.

I have seen many teacher's who are obviously nervous when their students play. It doesn't seem to do much good.


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#1239837 - 07/29/09 05:09 PM Re: Does it help if you appear nervous? [Re: Chris H.]  
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If they try to hide it it does no good. But I mean nervous about playing as well as nervous for players. And I don't think the psychology is that simple either.


snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/

#1239843 - 07/29/09 05:13 PM Re: Does it help if you appear nervous? [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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The psychology might not be simple but I wouldn't show my nerves when playing either.

Being nervous about performing is completely normal. I wouldn't say you should ignore it but you should understand it and learn to deal with it. I would want to set an example as a teacher. If I looked visibly distressed when I perform then how would that make my students feel?


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#1239846 - 07/29/09 05:15 PM Re: Does it help if you appear nervous? [Re: Chris H.]  
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Maybe they should know that we get nrvous too. But it might be better to discuss this with them.


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#1239853 - 07/29/09 05:18 PM Re: Does it help if you appear nervous? [Re: Chris H.]  
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I know that about 90% of instruction happens covertly. Visibly distressed is certainly out but would it help sometimes to feign nerves? Especially if you were habitually super confident?


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http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/

#1239857 - 07/29/09 05:21 PM Re: Does it help if you appear nervous? [Re: Chris H.]  
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Whereas it might be useful to discuss how a teacher handles nerves in preparation for an upcoming recital/exam for the student, if I, as a student, thought that my teacher, especially if they were accompanying me, were suffering from nerves, I think that would throw me. As a nervous student, one would need to feel that one did not have to worry about whether one's accompanist was going to suffer from nerves and mess up the performance!

At least piano teachers are less likely to be called upon to accompany their students in exams!!


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#1239861 - 07/29/09 05:23 PM Re: Does it help if you appear nervous? [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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It could look as if you were taking the p*** though. grin


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#1239866 - 07/29/09 05:25 PM Re: Does it help if you appear nervous? [Re: Chris H.]  
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Collyermum, many of my piano students play other instruments so I always end up accompanying them for exams, recitals and auditions. And no, I wouldn't let on if I was nervous.


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#1239867 - 07/29/09 05:25 PM Re: Does it help if you appear nervous? [Re: Chris H.]  
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Originally Posted by Chris H.
It could look as if you were taking the p*** though. grin
Yeh, but whose smarter?


snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/

#1239868 - 07/29/09 05:26 PM Re: Does it help if you appear nervous? [Re: Chris H.]  
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Originally Posted by Chris H.
Collyermum, many of my piano students play other instruments so I always end up accompanying them for exams, recitals and auditions. And no, I wouldn't let on if I was nervous.
You mean you wouldn't say 'It's OK, I'm nervous too?'


snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/

#1239889 - 07/29/09 05:47 PM Re: Does it help if you appear nervous? [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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No, I wouldn't say I was nervous too. I would say it's okay to be nervous but the last thing they need is to worry about my accompaniment.

Solo performance is different. I talk to my students about nerves because it's something you just can't avoid. I would admit to them that I have suffered from nerves in past performing situations and that it is normal to do so. I would also point out that I don't appear nervous when I play and that in itself is an important aspect of performance. The audience needs to feel relaxed and that the performer is in control. It's horrible to watch someone who is obviously nervous, although I would not use those words with a student.


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#1239931 - 07/29/09 06:53 PM Re: Does it help if you appear nervous? [Re: Chris H.]  
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You probably know the Chris Norton stuff. Are you aware of how tricky some of his early grade accompaniments are? There's no shame in pointing this out to the student and, covertly, sharing anxieties.


snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/

#1239973 - 07/29/09 07:35 PM Re: Does it help if you appear nervous? [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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I tell my students that I pressure even playing when trying to play through anything reasonably hard for them and the parents, even when they are the only ones with me.

But then I ask them if they can tell that, from anything I do or say, or from body language.

When they say, "No," I tell them that THIS is the point.

Our job is to project absolute confidence. That's what performers do.

But to say that we always feel that way, to me, is a lie and therefore not only misleading but also completely dishonest.


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#1240005 - 07/29/09 08:16 PM Re: Does it help if you appear nervous? [Re: Gary D.]  
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Originally Posted by Gary D.
Our job is to project absolute confidence. That's what performers do.
A lot of classroom teachers also have this attitude. They're afraid of the chaos that would ensue if the class get any inkling of an insecurity. As you say Gary, the best policy is the truth.


snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/

#1240163 - 07/30/09 03:17 AM Re: Does it help if you appear nervous? [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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There's no point trying to hide your fear in the classroom. They can smell it!


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#1240187 - 07/30/09 05:56 AM Re: Does it help if you appear nervous? [Re: Chris H.]  
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Originally Posted by Chris H.
There's no point trying to hide your fear in the classroom. They can smell it!
Too true.


snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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