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Performance Question..
#1484522 07/30/10 09:44 AM
Joined: Nov 2009
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CebuKid Offline OP
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Do you guys think that performance is a separate skill in piano altogether? I think so…

Reason I’m asking: recital coming up .. smile …and just in general, I’m a horrible performer when I’m “put on the spot.”

What are the mental keys to a good performance? Lately, I’ve been doing “dry runs” (no video camera yet), and just trying to “enjoy the music” as I play, and not even “think” about “the correct notes”, which are now supposed to come automatically with practice. crazy

Anywwho, besides this mental key, any others that any of you can recommend?


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Re: Performance Question..
CebuKid #1484551 07/30/10 10:24 AM
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I'm not sure I would describe it as a different "skill," but maybe that's as good a word as any.
You are using the same skill set when you perform, practice, sightread, etc. - just in different ways. The difference in performing is you have more stress than you do in practicing. there might be some stress in practicing and sightreading, but not as much as playing for an audience.

Also, practicing a section, doing a run through of a piece, sightreading a hymn, rehearsing with a singer, etc. all use similar skills, but they all have a different feel and mind set.

Re: Performance Question..
Phlebas #1484578 07/30/10 10:54 AM
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Do a search on this forum regarding "performance anxiety" or "stage fright" and things. There's a wealth of information that will help you prepare and get better at being a performer. It is definitely a skill that one can learn to do and improve.


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Re: Performance Question..
Morodiene #1484654 07/30/10 12:30 PM
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Cebukid, there is no substitute for practicing IN FRONT OF AN AUDIENCE for preparing to perform, well, in front of an audience. wink

You can practice a million hours and be able to play it perfectly alone in your living room, but the presence of an audience (if you are not used to public performing) introduces a whole new set of mostly unpleasant physiological reactions that can interfere with your playing.

So, the best advice I'd give you to prepare for a recital is to play your recital piece as many times as you can in front of a smaller, friendlier group of people. One's parents, for example, tend to be indulgent and supportive. Even if you're used to playing with a significant other or kids roaming around the house, it is a different ball of wax to ask them to sit on a chair a few feet away and stare at you while you play... and it will be excellent preparation for the recital experience.

Re: Performance Question..
Monica K. #1484675 07/30/10 01:05 PM
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Morodiene is correct; there's a ton of info on this subject. Maybe it's just semantics, but when you say "correct notes are supposed to come automatically with practice," it raises a red flag. Nothing is automatic.

I've found that I'm adequately prepared if I can sit quietly away from the piano and play the piece in my head, "hearing" the music and and "seeing" the notes on the page.

Even if I use the score for the performance, my brain needs to understand exactly what it's doing!


Re: Performance Question..
frida11 #1485086 07/31/10 07:25 AM
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This is a good subject. I have yet to do a recital, I have stage fright! I am even uncomfortable playing in a store while looking for pianos.

I think the best thing you can do is start doing little performances in front of your family and friends. This will help ease the audience anxiety.


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Re: Performance Question..
Mozart79 #1485123 07/31/10 08:55 AM
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Good point, Mozart. Asking 1 or 2 friends to listen is a good idea. If you know any other pianists in your area, getting together with them for very informal playing sessions is also good.

Re: Performance Question..
CebuKid #1485520 07/31/10 08:51 PM
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Are you playing in a recital? I must have missed something, haven't been on here as much lately.

I am an "expert" now, having played at my first recital (since childhood) a month or two ago.
For me the key to performance anxiety is to be very, very prepared. It's true for piano and it's true when I have to give presentations at work. I'm much more confident when I feel I have command of the material, whatever it is. I practiced my recital piece so much I was getting sick of it, so was my family. Practice walking up to the piano, sitting down, and playing straight through. Practice at different tempos. Practice on other people's pianos if you can. And as others have said, make sure you play in front of some others family or friends, before the recital.

Last edited by T'sMom; 07/31/10 08:55 PM.
Re: Performance Question..
T'sMom #1485521 07/31/10 08:54 PM
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One more thing: you WILL make some mistakes. From advice on this board, I practiced what to do, how to keep going, with mistakes. I noticed this with others at the recital: it's not the mistakes, it's how you recover from them !


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