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Anyone Offended by Disinterested Audience? #1263853
09/07/09 05:20 AM
09/07/09 05:20 AM
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Dantooine
NocturneLover Offline OP
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Hey guys,

So at the university theater, there are three pianos scattered all over the place, and one is in the hallway and the other in rooms. Well, I sit down and play when there's no classes in session around, and I know I am playing decently when all of a sudden someone (lower-level faculty) tells me to, "Stop playing piano. Thanks."

On screen this sounds polite, but the way she said it was like, "You're some unknown amateur screwing around with the piano, u probably suck, and please shut the heck up," vibe. And I playing Chopin and I know I am playing OK. Its like even though the words are polite, I feel offended that people don't share the same love of piano...

Anyone ever get that in public? I know friends and family could care less sometime, but it seems like these people are oblivious to beautiful music.


"...music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy." -Ludwig van Beethoven
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Re: Anyone Offended by Disinterested Audience? [Re: NocturneLover] #1263863
09/07/09 05:43 AM
09/07/09 05:43 AM
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currawong Offline
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I wouldn't necessarily assume the person was "oblivious to beautiful music" or doesn't love piano. It just might have been distracting to them at that time and place.


Du holde Kunst...
Re: Anyone Offended by Disinterested Audience? [Re: currawong] #1263872
09/07/09 06:10 AM
09/07/09 06:10 AM
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CWPiano Offline
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One man's meat is another poison. What you could do is to ask the said person the reason. Many pianists are notorious for having less than desirable social skills because of the solitary nature of the instrument and being oblivious to your audience and people around you is only going to keep them away.


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Re: Anyone Offended by Disinterested Audience? [Re: CWPiano] #1263875
09/07/09 06:17 AM
09/07/09 06:17 AM
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I think the faculty member should have given his reason without being asked. The way his request was phrased seems very rude(more like an order) to me.

"I'm sorry, but your piano playing is _____________. Could you please stop." would have been more appropriate.

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Re: Anyone Offended by Disinterested Audience? [Re: pianoloverus] #1263880
09/07/09 06:46 AM
09/07/09 06:46 AM
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New York City
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There could be any number of reasons he wanted you to stop playing - it was distracting, as currawong said, there was a rehearsal about to start, there could be a rule about playing those pianos, he had just chased away 5 bad piano players before you came along, etc.

Sure, he could have been nicer, but there are two ways of looking at it. If you play out in the open like that, you're imposing your sound/music on someone else. Even the title of this thread, with the phrase "disinterested audience," has the implication that you're presuming him to be an audience. He might not want to be.

Re: Anyone Offended by Disinterested Audience? [Re: Phlebas] #1263901
09/07/09 08:33 AM
09/07/09 08:33 AM
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I've had it happen to me on several occasions. The offense I feel is that sometimes the tone which people use sometimes makes you feel that that don't understand the difference between a little kid banging away at the piano, and someone who's serious and know what they're doing.

Oddly enough, one time when I was in high school I went into the auditorium after classes were over and sat down to play, there were several students there all scattered and reading and doing some writing. So i started playing hoping to gain their attention, nothing happened. I started going into more and more flashy difficult pieces and nothing. in all I played about 5 pieces ranging from a nocturne all the way to an excerpt of hungarian rhapsody no.2. After no one even flicned I decided to leave puzzled. on my way out I see a security guard and asked what was going on with those students in the auditorium. He replies:






****They're talking a test....







I was like: WHOOOOOPS!!! Time to go.


"A Sorceror of tonality; the piano is my cauldron and the music is my spell, let those who cannot hear my calling die and burn in He11."

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Re: Anyone Offended by Disinterested Audience? [Re: ChopinLives81] #1263906
09/07/09 08:43 AM
09/07/09 08:43 AM
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I was at a church retreat when I was in high school, and it was being held at a Baptist church that had a very nice organ. One day after lunch, the sanctuary was empty, so I went in and sat down to play (the music minister said it would be okay.)

I had been playing through some Bach preludes when the pastor came up to me and said:

"Excuse me. I'm sorry son, you're obviously very talented, but I don't think that kind of music is appropriate for a church."


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Re: Anyone Offended by Disinterested Audience? [Re: Kreisler] #1263912
09/07/09 08:58 AM
09/07/09 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Kreisler
I was at a church retreat when I was in high school, and it was being held at a Baptist church that had a very nice organ. One day after lunch, the sanctuary was empty, so I went in and sat down to play (the music minister said it would be okay.)

I had been playing through some Bach preludes when the pastor came up to me and said:

"Excuse me. I'm sorry son, you're obviously very talented, but I don't think that kind of music is appropriate for a church."


laugh
Ironically, Bach himself apparently had problems with church authorities quite often during his life. Some complained he was changing harmonies too drastically, sometimes he was preluding for too long etc. But I think he rarely compromised on his ideas of music Soli Deo gloria.

Re: Anyone Offended by Disinterested Audience? [Re: pianovirus] #1264128
09/07/09 03:58 PM
09/07/09 03:58 PM
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I hate when my friends will say "can you play something for me". I go to explain what it is (example: this is a prelude and fugue, it's two pieces that you play as a set), and they will say "well I don't want to hear the whole thing, I get the idea". But if these people (one of whom is a history major) were to ask me to read over an essay he wrote, I wouldn't say "I'm only going to read half of it, I get the idea".

I find that so rude, you're getting into the piece coming up to a great part, and they say "stop, I get the idea" as if the piano was rambling on about nothing.

Also, people who are sifting through a magazine as you are playing something for them, or at recitals when families leave in the middle of someone playing. Extremely rude that they can't give a few minutes of their attention and are blatantly doing something else.

Re: Anyone Offended by Disinterested Audience? [Re: nanabush] #1264170
09/07/09 05:12 PM
09/07/09 05:12 PM
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I have had the same experience playing for friends at home. They seem to get fidgety just sitting there, and they want it to be over with as soon as possible. I think it is so many years of watching music on a screen, rather than just listening - which people are unused to. So now if somebody asks me to play (I never offer anymore because when I would start I would see this look of surprise and disappointment that it was something classical, rather than Imagine) I make sure they either have a drink in their hands to keep them busy, or I will set them down with a puzzle so they can keep their little minds busy - that seems to help - then they don't have to direct so much undivided attention at you and the music can stay in the BACKGROUND WHERE IT BELONGS.

Either that or I just play Imagine - that is the only time they will ever complement your playing.

Last edited by Schubertian; 09/07/09 05:15 PM.

"There are so many mornings that have not yet dawned." -- Rg Veda
Re: Anyone Offended by Disinterested Audience? [Re: nanabush] #1264181
09/07/09 05:28 PM
09/07/09 05:28 PM
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Not everyone shares the same enthusiasm for classical music, or even music. I have a friend who otherwise loves classical music (symphonies, operas and so on) finds piano music, particularly Chopin's bored to death. We are a niche.

Don't treat them as audience. Just play for yourself. Unless you violate some rule, it's none of their business. If your goal is to impress the passers-by, you better start playing pop music.

As for not playing the entire set of work, our local "classical music" radio channel does not usually broadcast the entire work either. They most often just pick a 'easy-to-ears', melodious and slowish movement. This shows that the majority of people who listen to classical music are not hardcore.


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Re: Anyone Offended by Disinterested Audience? [Re: pno] #1264227
09/07/09 06:59 PM
09/07/09 06:59 PM
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I know 1 or 2 pianists who will jump at any piano anywhere and start playing, and they are the least accomplished players I know. More than likely their poor confidence in combination with their yearning for recognition fuels a need to constantly prove themselves, rather than an ego-less will to "educate and spread art to the public". This quest will unfortuenatly never succeed, because they suck.

On the other hand, the finest players I know, who are professional pianists, have no desire to ambush a public piano and start performing, it´s simply not the time or place for that. You practise at home and you perform on stage. That is if you´re a pro of course. If not, please don´t push your playing on innocent people´s ears in public places. Be considerate.

Re: Anyone Offended by Disinterested Audience? [Re: davaofthekeys] #1264230
09/07/09 07:07 PM
09/07/09 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by davaofthekeys
I know 1 or 2 pianists who will jump at any piano anywhere and start playing, and they are the least accomplished players I know. More than likely their poor confidence in combination with their yearning for recognition fuels a need to constantly prove themselves, rather than an ego-less will to "educate and spread art to the public". This quest will unfortuenatly never succeed, because they suck.

On the other hand, the finest players I know, who are professional pianists, have no desire to ambush a public piano and start performing, it´s simply not the time or place for that. You practise at home and you perform on stage. That is if you´re a pro of course. If not, please don´t push your playing on innocent people´s ears in public places. Be considerate.


There are plenty of pianists in neither group you mention.

Re: Anyone Offended by Disinterested Audience? [Re: Schubertian] #1264238
09/07/09 07:27 PM
09/07/09 07:27 PM
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The direction of his thread doesnt seem to have real direction. Thomas, you did state that someone distrubted you from your playing. The tone might come across as harsh and you might feel offended. You did not however, as other posters stated, mention the context of what was happening. You seemd to paint the picture that people weren't around to listen, you came to the piano when there was no class and you played. You were not in a concert or recital so where is your audience?

Let me tell you that I have been brought up in a school where I have performed for many disinterested people. I have come to the realisation that "you can't get everyone to like you" and that is the case with all art forms, not everyone likes pictures of Monet or Picasso. I can recall instances were people would talk through my whole performance, two bars in and I was mounted on a stage, people started to talk. That instance did make me feel quite agitated and upset but over time I've learned that there is a place for interest.


Re: Anyone Offended by Disinterested Audience? [Re: NocturneLover] #1264246
09/07/09 08:05 PM
09/07/09 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Thomas Lau
So at the university theater, there are three pianos scattered all over the place, and one is in the hallway and the other in rooms. Well, I sit down and play when there's no classes in session around, and I know I am playing decently when all of a sudden someone (lower-level faculty) tells me to, "Stop playing piano. Thanks."

Sounds rude. Even if there's an unwritten policy to not touch the pianos - still rude. How about locking the lid if pianos are not to be touched. No mixed messages there.


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Re: Anyone Offended by Disinterested Audience? [Re: eweiss] #1264271
09/07/09 09:04 PM
09/07/09 09:04 PM
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1. Look up "disinterested." It doesn't mean what you think it does. It means that the person doesn't have a conflict of interest.

2. Look up "audience." I think the use of the word presumes that the listener is listening voluntarily.

3. I'm always aware of what's going on around me before I sit down and play a piano that seems to be available. While the professor in question might have seemed rude, there's a very good chance that you're not the first person to play this piano unbidden. No matter how good we might be, we have no right to make others listen to us.

Re: Anyone Offended by Disinterested Audience? [Re: wdot] #1264294
09/07/09 09:56 PM
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I'm quickly turned off by pianists jumping at the chance to play in order to impress people. I actually find it rather pathetic. There's simply nothing special in being able to play the piano in my opinion. Or to put it another way, it does not make a person in some sense "special." (I know this is not what the OP was doing, but on the other hand he did use that word..."audience.")

I very rarely play for people, and then only when it would be impolite not to. For one thing, I'm not that good, not anymore anyway. For another, I'm not a performer by nature.

Many years ago I used to love improvising basic blues progressions. I was actually pretty decent at it. One day I was visiting a friend at his university and sat down to play in a room that was otherwise completely empty. I got lost in my music and played for well over an hour. At one point I happened to glance around and there was an old guy in a janitor uniform sitting in a folding chair against the wall listening to me. I don't know how long he'd been there, but I could tell by his face that he was really transported by my music. It was the nicest compliment I've ever had in my life.

The funny thing is that as soon as I realized he was there, I froze. Couldn't play another decent note. Looking back, it was the best I'd ever played. Just one of those peak experiences. And I stopped playing the piano entirely after that, and didn't get back into if for decades.

Not sure what my point is, except that I play for myself, for the happiness and joy it brings me. It's got nothing to do with other people. For those who enjoy entertaining others, that's wonderful too. But there's a time and place.

Re: Anyone Offended by Disinterested Audience? [Re: cardguy] #1264304
09/07/09 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by cardguy
There's simply nothing special in being able to play the piano in my opinion. Or to put it another way, it does not make a person in some sense "special."


Maybe that's the way Joshua Bell felt about his violin play when he was performing incognito in the subway. Just like they say the frame makes a picture or painting so it seems that the event and the venue make the artist. This all happens regardless of the player's talent, of course, which could be absolutely stellar or absolutely pitiful. The only sad thing is that we don't really listen to others because we are busy with ourselves. Especially in a conservatory. I noticed that if people who walk by the doors peek into the practice rooms, only do it to see who is playing what and how well. For that matter, students at our local conservatory put stuff like paper sheets or scarfs or other pieces of clothing or sundry contraptions over the door windows to remain incognito. It's very competitive, and I am glad to be only a practicing guest.

Re: Anyone Offended by Disinterested Audience? [Re: cardguy] #1264306
09/07/09 10:21 PM
09/07/09 10:21 PM
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This is called piano crash.



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Re: Anyone Offended by Disinterested Audience? [Re: pno] #1264310
09/07/09 10:49 PM
09/07/09 10:49 PM
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I sat down and played once at a hotel here in San Diego. I got hired to play a regular gig about 20 minutes later by the hotel manager. But what I do doesn't actually fit or work for a bar setting.

I quit the first night.


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Re: Anyone Offended by Disinterested Audience? [Re: NocturneLover] #1264317
09/07/09 11:06 PM
09/07/09 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Thomas Lau
Hey guys,

So at the university theater, there are three pianos scattered all over the place, and one is in the hallway and the other in rooms. Well, I sit down and play when there's no classes in session around, and I know I am playing decently when all of a sudden someone (lower-level faculty) tells me to, "Stop playing piano. Thanks."

On screen this sounds polite, but the way she said it was like, "You're some unknown amateur screwing around with the piano, u probably suck, and please shut the heck up," vibe. And I playing Chopin and I know I am playing OK. Its like even though the words are polite, I feel offended that people don't share the same love of piano...

Anyone ever get that in public? I know friends and family could care less sometime, but it seems like these people are oblivious to beautiful music.


Some people just hate classical music, not all share our passion. Sometimes when I mention classical music people are horrified and just don't understand how I can love it so much.
Or that person felt distracted, as some people already mentioned in this thread, and couldn't concentrate on whatever she was doing.



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Re: Anyone Offended by Disinterested Audience? [Re: NocturneLover] #1264356
09/08/09 01:25 AM
09/08/09 01:25 AM
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My pet peeve is that people equate musical ability with playing really fast. The complexities of fingering, voicing, phrasing, pedaling are ignored. I played Chopin's Waltz in C#m for an aunt that I had not seen in ten years and her assessment was "That's nice. I can tell you would be really good if you got lessons." I'm not saying I wouldn't benefit from (more) lessons, but I played the piece well. If I had played the FI instead (even badly, so long as I did not stop or very obviously stumble), she would have said, "Wow! You're really good!" *sigh

Clayton -

Last edited by Clayton; 09/08/09 01:26 AM.

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Claude Debussy - Cello Sonata
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Re: Anyone Offended by Disinterested Audience? [Re: eweiss] #1264670
09/08/09 02:48 PM
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My piano teacher, who should remain nameless in this story, but is quite good and a well-recognized concert pianist, was on the road and wanted to practise. She found a piano in the hotel barroom. After awhile, someone came up to her and asked her if she would play some real music.


"Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense."
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Re: Anyone Offended by Disinterested Audience? [Re: toyboy] #1264705
09/08/09 03:47 PM
09/08/09 03:47 PM
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I've had a few situations in hotel lobbies and the like where I got permission to play and 20 minutes later or so the desk clerk will nicely ask me to stop because my music is too dramatic ie. it's not background music.

Before I entered music school but after I was already a student in another major at the school, I was practicing my audition pieces on the Hamburg Steinway in one of the concert halls that was officially off limits, but pretty easy to sneak in to. I was just about finished with Mazeppa, about to play the final exciting coda when an old man came in and told me that he needed to play the piano. I asked him if I couldn't just play for a minute more since I was itching to finish the piece, and he responded that, no I couldn't, and that really, I shouldn't be playing on that piano unless I had an impending performance in that room. I immediately asked him if HE did, since I didn't know of any upcoming performances. Yes, he did, and I learned a couple days later that he was the chair of the piano department. Ooops! I still got in to the program though smile

Actually though, the more embarrassing experiences I've had are when I'm playing a public piano when I don't think anyone else is around, and I'm doing a run-through in which I'm really sucking, and then I finish to unexpected ecstatic applause from some hidden listener.

Last edited by MarkH; 09/08/09 03:49 PM.
Re: Anyone Offended by Disinterested Audience? [Re: MarkH] #1264805
09/08/09 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by MarkH
Actually though, the more embarrassing experiences I've had are when I'm playing a public piano when I don't think anyone else is around, and I'm doing a run-through in which I'm really sucking, and then I finish to unexpected ecstatic applause from some hidden listener.


I would think in some weird way that would be gratifying. Because if you could please some people at that sucky level, there's no place to go but up after that! smile


"Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense."
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Re: Anyone Offended by Disinterested Audience? [Re: toyboy] #1264928
09/08/09 10:42 PM
09/08/09 10:42 PM
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Land of the never-ending music
Well, today I was talking to a lady, and she told me she has just moved and she got an old stereo with radio from her neighbour. So, she said, she listens to the radio, "modern music", she added. Then she said "and sometimes even classical music, when there is nothing else on the radio". And she laughed. So I told her I play classical music, and also love to listen to classical music, and she was sort of embarrassed I think and said "Oh yes, I love it too" (even blushing blush) .
See? Some people just don't like classical music...



[Linked Image]

Music is my best friend.


Re: Anyone Offended by Disinterested Audience? [Re: SeilerFan] #1264971
09/09/09 12:27 AM
09/09/09 12:27 AM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 149
Dantooine
NocturneLover Offline OP
Full Member
NocturneLover  Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 149
Dantooine
Quote


Maybe that's the way Joshua Bell felt about his violin play when he was performing incognito in the subway. Just like they say the frame makes a picture or painting so it seems that the event and the venue make the artist.



Yes, it feels like this except I am not on the level of Joshua Bell, but the venue does make the artist. For some reasons playing in hotels would probably construed as an regular pianist (not concert-level) and playing a violin on the streets of course would probably be thought of as lower then that. Most of the people listening can't differentiate between subtleties and go by reputation or introduction only.

So if there was a sign next to the piano or in front of the lobby saying that you were a world-class musician I would venture that more people would sit down and the desk clerk wouldn't tell you not to shut up.


"...music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy." -Ludwig van Beethoven
Re: Anyone Offended by Disinterested Audience? [Re: NocturneLover] #1265260
09/09/09 12:28 PM
09/09/09 12:28 PM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 531
CherryCoke Offline
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CherryCoke  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 531
There's a time and a place for performance. With this situation, it's not your piano, not your venue, and no one invited you to play. A professor simply asked you to stop. I fail to see the travesty here.

Re: Anyone Offended by Disinterested Audience? [Re: CherryCoke] #1265350
09/09/09 02:37 PM
09/09/09 02:37 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 977
C
cardguy Offline
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cardguy  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 977
Originally Posted by CherryCoke
There's a time and a place for performance. With this situation, it's not your piano, not your venue, and no one invited you to play. A professor simply asked you to stop. I fail to see the travesty here.


cherry, amen :>)

Re: Anyone Offended by Disinterested Audience? [Re: Clayton] #1265352
09/09/09 02:41 PM
09/09/09 02:41 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 409
Florida
R
riley80 Offline
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riley80  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 409
Florida
I know the feeling.
When I took lessons, it seemed my teacher always picked something for the recital which was fast - too fast for me. I longed for something slow and expressive, nothing wiht hands over etc.

Loud always seems to impress as well as speed. Agh.

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