Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.7 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
What's Hot!!
How It All Really Began
-------------------
European Tour for Piano Lovers
JOIN US FOR THE TOUR!
--------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Find a Professional
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Advertise on Piano World

(ad)
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Spring 2018
ad
Pierce Piano Atlas


Who's Online Now
50 registered members (AZNpiano, ando, Bett, almo82, 12 invisible), 676 guests, and 6 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3
Should recitals be error-free? #2695168
12/07/17 06:45 PM
12/07/17 06:45 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 67
NC
tinman1943 Offline OP

Silver Supporter until Jan 04 2013
tinman1943  Offline OP

Silver Supporter until Jan 04 2013

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 67
NC
Should recital perfomances be "error free"?

I'm a senior adult trying to learn piano, currenlty playing pieces from Adult Piano Adventures Book 2 and supplements.
I'm wonder, should students be able to play such pieces without errors?

When my kids were taking Suzuki violin,
they (and their peers) were expected to perform their recital pieces without mistakes.

But various piano teachers I have tried routinely stage recitals where student performances (including my own) are often marred by wrong notes, lapses in rhythm, etc.

I know stage fright happens, but I'm concered whether I've just chosen some poor teachers, or am deficient in talent, or is it not expected to be able to play the lesson pieces "correcty"?
If I'm still making errors after studying a lessom piece for a month, is the problem me, or the teacher, or the method, or what?


tinman1943
Adult Learner
--Music is poetry; why print it like prose?--
(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Re: Should recitals be error-free? [Re: tinman1943] #2695183
12/07/17 07:55 PM
12/07/17 07:55 PM
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 3,639
Ireland (ex England)
Z
zrtf90 Offline
3000 Post Club Member
zrtf90  Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Z
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 3,639
Ireland (ex England)
Originally Posted by tinman1943
Should recital perfomances be "error free"?
No. It takes years to be able to perform eror free and even then needs rigorous practise and a certain personality.

Originally Posted by tinman1943
If I'm still making errors after studying a lessom piece for a month, is the problem me, or the teacher, or the method, or what?
If you are 'still' making errors then you're practising wrong. Practise only as much as you can get right and get it right a few times before moving on. In your practise you should not be making errors regularly, the odd slip maybe. In performance it's another kettle of fish.


Richard
Re: Should recitals be error-free? [Re: tinman1943] #2695199
12/07/17 08:59 PM
12/07/17 08:59 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 5,207
Reseda, California
J
JohnSprung Offline
Unobtanium Subscriber
JohnSprung  Offline
Unobtanium Subscriber
J
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 5,207
Reseda, California

If you're routinely making the same error over and over in practice, what you're learning is to make that specific error. And you'll perform it that way, too. Drill the problem areas, going very slow, and learn the right way, not the ingrained error.


-- J.S.

[Linked Image] [Linked Image]

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690
Re: Should recitals be error-free? [Re: tinman1943] #2695206
12/07/17 09:24 PM
12/07/17 09:24 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 10,616
B
bennevis Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
bennevis  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 10,616
Errors in performance are due to three principal causes. Experienced pianists can easily spot which one(s).

1) Inadequate practice, or ingrained errors.
2) Inadequate technique. That is, playing a piece that's too difficult.
3) Accidents that can occur to anyone, including the greatest.

Of course, all three are aggravated by nerves, but it's easy to tell a nervy, accident-prone performance that hasn't been adequately prepared or due to insufficient skills from an equally nervy, accident-prone one which has.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
(ad ) MusicNotes.com
sheet music search
Re: Should recitals be error-free? [Re: tinman1943] #2695212
12/07/17 09:47 PM
12/07/17 09:47 PM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 3,237
Australia
E
earlofmar Online content
3000 Post Club Member
earlofmar  Online Content
3000 Post Club Member
E
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 3,237
Australia
Errors if random in nature are normal, but you have to scrutinize everything you do in your practice and playing to try to eliminate errors. I think as you become more experienced you learn a piece differently, perhaps at a deeper level, possibly more intellectually as your theory knowledge grows.

Errors for me generally tell me I don't know the piece as well as I think I do, but to get to know the piece really well can take much longer than we want (or need) to devote to one piece. One thing I like to with my main pieces is play them as slowly as needed hands separate until I get a mistake free run through. If I can get them mistake free consistently I will then go to hands together and repeat. This does sometimes mean sacrificing the timing but for me it is an important confidence builder just to have that mistake free run through. Usually what I find is I have been playing the piece too fast or have rushed into hands together too soon, or both.


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

13x[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Re: Should recitals be error-free? [Re: tinman1943] #2695221
12/07/17 10:29 PM
12/07/17 10:29 PM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 236
Toronto, Canada
T
thepianoplayer416 Offline
Full Member
thepianoplayer416  Offline
Full Member
T
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 236
Toronto, Canada
In order to get a flawless performance, you need to be practicing at home to the point of making no mistakes.

The Suzuki method start people off by playing pieces that are repetitious like the "Twinkle" song (violin/piano version) with every note 6x. If you repeat your pieces enough # times, you learn them naturally. On stage you have another factor: the audience. You can't show "stage fright" and the most you can do to prepare to go on stage is to have a few family members and friends watching at home and just run through the performance pieces.

The first performance can be nerve wracking. After that you lose the nervousness. Once a friend of the family came for a visit with 2 sons in the Suzuki program (piano & violin). They played a few songs in our living room as duet including "Minuet in G" without a noticeable mistake. A few years back our local city council put out a few street pianos downtown. Many people walked by playing anything from Pop songs like Billy Joel "The Piano Man" & Classical pieces like the 1st mvt. of the Beethoven "Moonlight Sonata". One day a young teen walked by a piano and played Scott Joplin "Maple Leaf Rag" from memory. He gave a near flawless performance like he must have practiced for a few weeks. A small crowd gathered to watch. People don't usually carry sheet music around. You play the pieces you know best. And no amount of practice can prepare you to face the audience.

I've seen a few online videos posted by a Ukrainian piano teacher (Irina Gorin) including a few lessons & actual performances. Besides getting her students to play pieces "note perfect", she would teach them proper phrasing (where to breath) and the graceful hand gestures that goes with each piece. What she is able to accomplish with her students is impressive.

Re: Should recitals be error-free? [Re: tinman1943] #2695231
12/07/17 11:12 PM
12/07/17 11:12 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,923
W
Whizbang Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Whizbang  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
W
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,923
Originally Posted by tinman1943

I'm wonder, should students be able to play such pieces without errors?


Ouch. So many questions and, as I didn't think I could address them all, I picked up on this one.

The answer is "no," BUT... you want to have that as a goal.

As zrtf mentions, I think this comes down to a set of personality traits: meticulous attention to detail, persistence, and the ability to constructively channel nerves into a performance.

I've spent a long time at the piano. I've got only the second of these traits.

I never play a piece error-free. Literally never. I, do, however play them with fewer errors now and I recover better when the inevitable flubs come up. I also am now much better about trying to get pieces into my fingers with fewer sloppy bits. If you get sloppy bits into your fingers, then they're the most likely thing that will come out when you perform them under pressure.

Do your best to not put them there. When you are studying a piece, is there always a set of notes that you fat-finger? I can save you decades of floundering with this one piece of advice, which is extremely hard to hold yourself to: don't play through it a gazillion times hoping it will get better magically. It won't. Flubbing something three times in a row is a sign. Slow it down, figure out what's going on. Have your teacher watch your fingering there and give practice advice. Follow that advice. I KNOW. It's totally clear what notes you should be playing. They're written right there on the page. Like the music version of your native tongue. It's simple, right? Except it isn't. Because playing music not like reading aloud. It's like if you had to do a gymnastics tumbling routine at the same time as reading "Harry Potter".

Now, where you are in your studies is a point where you don't need to perfect every piece. You are laying a foundation of skills that you will be able to leverage in the future for pieces to play for enjoyment for yourself or others. But a certain mindfulness and care while studying your pieces now--without getting angsty about 'being perfect'--will pay dividends later if you can incorporate them into your approach to study.

As I mentioned, I still never play things without flubs. (I have studied the 'wrong' way for a long time.) And if I listen to recordings of my playing, boy, do I hear all the things I did wrong or could do better. It's maddening ! But ... I guess music is a human endeavor and humans aren't necessarily perfect, so if you play something and you brighten someone's day or bring a smile to their face, what's a flub here and there?


Whizbang [Linked Image]
amateur ragtime pianist
https://www.youtube.com/user/Aeschala
Re: Should recitals be error-free? [Re: tinman1943] #2695251
12/08/17 12:49 AM
12/08/17 12:49 AM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 3,739
Finland
O
outo Offline
3000 Post Club Member
outo  Offline
3000 Post Club Member
O
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 3,739
Finland
A month is not a long time to play a piece. It can take much longer for many adults with other obligations to securely memorize something. You did not say if you play from memory?

Some teachers want to teach the students of all levels to perform without fear and learn to cope with mistakes and recover so recitals are not that serious. Mistakes can happen because the piece is not completely learned yet but they let you play anyway. They are not like exams where you must be extremely well prepared.

There are several kinds of errors:
- Learning something wrong the first time (misreadings, not understanding the rhythm etc.). Teacher should not let these pass.
- Stumbles due to playing too fast or without adequate technique to the piece. These should not be passed either imo.
- Memory lapses. Sometimes from inadequare practice but can also be from nerves, concentration issues or inherent problems with memory in general. Some can be eliminated by more and better practice, some cannot if random. Sometimes these are so tiny that you only hear them as rhythmic problems.
- Mistakes of tone quality, voicing or dynamics etc. These are the "that did not sound quite how I wanted" moments. Playing in a different room and different piano these are almost unavoidable. To think about them can cause a breakdown so one should learn to ignore them while performing. Something I cannot do yet...

Re: Should recitals be error-free? [Re: tinman1943] #2695274
12/08/17 04:32 AM
12/08/17 04:32 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,965
London, UK
K
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member
kevinb  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
K
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,965
London, UK
My hope is to provide a entertaining and moving musical performance. If it's error-free with respect to the printed score then that's an advantage, but not a crucial one.

The problem is that, whilst I can make a huge number of such errors that I think nobody except a real expert would spot, it's all to easy to make a single, minor error that is musically catastrophic.

My gut feeling is that learning to cope with that kind of situation is a more useful, and more achievable, skill than learning to play a specific piece with perfect accuracy. At least, I think it is at my age.

Also, I agree with outo that a month isn't a long time to learn a piece to performance standard that is at or near your limit of technique -- whatever that limit happens to be at the time. Again, the situation may be different for enthusiastic youngsters with plenty of time on their hands, but older people usually have to juggle a bunch of conflicting commitments. For me personally, I would say 3-4 months is more realistic. I guess it depends on how much repertoire you're learning at the same time, and what other kinds of practice you have to do.

I don't know if this is common, or just me, but: I find a significant "diminishing returns" effect when it comes to learning to play a piece without errors. I probably improve in accuracy more in the first hour of working on a piece, than I do in the following week; and more in the following week than in the month after that. To be honest, I doubt I could play Three Blind Mice with the certainty of perfect accuracy. Absolute certainty of perfect accuracy is pretty hard for humans to achieve in any field of endeavour, I think.

Re: Should recitals be error-free? [Re: tinman1943] #2695275
12/08/17 04:33 AM
12/08/17 04:33 AM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 6,977
Northern England.
peterws Offline
6000 Post Club Member
peterws  Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 6,977
Northern England.
Fingering is the answer. The correct fingers for you. Might not be as indicated on the score, but that is usually a good guide. If a wrong finger gets into the mix, then your crescendo becomes a crashendo which could actually be quite funny as long as it happened to someone else . . .


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

"[Linked Image]"
Re: Should recitals be error-free? [Re: peterws] #2695285
12/08/17 06:12 AM
12/08/17 06:12 AM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,348
Costa del Sol
SwissMS Online content

2000 Post Club Member
SwissMS  Online Content

2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,348
Costa del Sol
Originally Posted by peterws
... If a wrong finger gets into the mix, then your crescendo becomes a crashendo which could actually be quite funny as long as it happened to someone else . . .

grin
I have had plenty of those. I have learned to just improvise forward and pretend that I meant to do that.

I have never played a note perfect recital. Nerves always play a part. I have played note perfect in exams, after six months or more with a piece. That does not mean the piece was perfect! The examiners always have suggestions of how I need to improve the piece.

Re: Should recitals be error-free? [Re: tinman1943] #2695291
12/08/17 07:00 AM
12/08/17 07:00 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 2,646
Georgia, USA
Sam S Offline

2000 Post Club Member
Sam S  Offline

2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 2,646
Georgia, USA
Should recitals be error-free? It depends on the circumstances, but it's a worthy goal.
Can recitals be error-free? No.

Sam

Re: Should recitals be error-free? [Re: tinman1943] #2695301
12/08/17 08:35 AM
12/08/17 08:35 AM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 10,616
B
bennevis Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
bennevis  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 10,616
About half of all the recitals I've played (or more accurately, half of the pieces I've performed over the years) have been free of errors, but they still weren't always performed to my complete satisfaction. In fact, I've been more satisfied with some of the pieces in which there have been errors, because my playing in them was more 'inspired' (more 'live', more exciting, more emotional, more communicative) than some of the perfectly accurate ones.

Did my audience care about the wrong notes? Not in the least. Did the wrong notes diminish their enjoyment and appreciation? Not in the least. What they wanted was communicative music-making that 'spoke' to them there and then, not sterile note-perfect playing that they can get from plenty of YT videos........


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Should recitals be error-free? [Re: bennevis] #2695310
12/08/17 09:53 AM
12/08/17 09:53 AM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 2,182
First Town, First State
BrianDX Offline
2000 Post Club Member
BrianDX  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 2,182
First Town, First State
When I perform at my teacher's "musicales" our goals are pretty simple. My teacher is much more interested in the overall presentation of the pieces (dynamics, tempo, shaping, etc.) than expecting 100% of the notes being correct.

For example, at our last gathering three weeks ago I made a decision to "go long" as far as picking a piece that was at the limits of what I could technically do (not beyond mind you). My goal was to play the piece at the proper tempo and dynamics (it goes from pp to ff in places). I knew I was going to make a few mistakes. Well I did, but I got the performance part pretty darn good. The big smile on my teacher's face at the end said it all.


Yamaha C2X | Yamaha M500-F
Groucho Marx: "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."
Curriculum: Faber Developing Artist (Book 3)
Current: German Dance in D Major (Haydn) (OF); Melody (Schumann) (OF)
Re: Should recitals be error-free? [Re: tinman1943] #2695313
12/08/17 10:09 AM
12/08/17 10:09 AM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 3,215
Florida
dogperson Offline
Silver Subscriber
dogperson  Offline
Silver Subscriber
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 3,215
Florida
My teacher does not ever expect note perfect performances, And we have discussed what should be done when there is an incorrect note, because it will happen. Her advice is to keep moving if the passage is fast. If the note missed is longer, such as a half note, NOT To immediately change the note as if you’ve hit a hot stove, Because that draws attention to the error But to change the note to the correct one, at the same note valuation or to keep moving, Whichever sounds better in the context of the score.

Note that we are talking about a public performance, and not a lesson.Neither one of us view my lessons as a performance


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho
Re: Should recitals be error-free? [Re: tinman1943] #2695316
12/08/17 10:20 AM
12/08/17 10:20 AM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 160
England
ID5894 Offline
Full Member
ID5894  Offline
Full Member
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 160
England
In my view hitting the right notes at the right time helps, but it's neither a sufficient nor a necessary condition for a good, let alone a "perfect", performance. You can listen to many note-perfect but dull performances on youtube by keen students that no doubt have been practicing those tunes for ages, yet they still sound mediocre at best.

I think with classical works, part of the problem is that if you're used to listening to piano recordings almost exclusively performed by great pianists, anyone else sounds awful in comparison... pop and jazz may be safer spaces for the amateur, not because they're easier, but because they're inherently more flexible and forgiving.


Started January 2017. Working on Alfred Level 2 and Fundamental Keys. Yamaha P-115.
Re: Should recitals be error-free? [Re: Sam S] #2695346
12/08/17 12:58 PM
12/08/17 12:58 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,432
Santa Fe, NM
J
jotur Offline
Gold Level
jotur  Offline
Gold Level
J
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,432
Santa Fe, NM
Originally Posted by Sam S
Should recitals be error-free? It depends on the circumstances, but it's a worthy goal.
Can recitals be error-free? No.

Sam


Quote of the day smile

I, myself, specialize in what my ski-racing friends always called "linked recoveries".


Cathy
[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
Practice what you suck at - anonymous
Re: Should recitals be error-free? [Re: tinman1943] #2695433
12/08/17 07:40 PM
12/08/17 07:40 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 489
San Diego, CA
S
SoundThumb Offline
Full Member
SoundThumb  Offline
Full Member
S
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 489
San Diego, CA
If my teacher expected note perfect recitals, she would never invite me. As far as playing "correctly", remember, you are trying to make music not computer code.


[Linked Image]
Re: Should recitals be error-free? [Re: tinman1943] #2695705
12/10/17 01:34 AM
12/10/17 01:34 AM
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 1,365
Southern California
S
Sand Tiger Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Sand Tiger  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 1,365
Southern California
I can report my observations from watching a young relative perform. He started in piano competitions at a young age. During the first and second year, the kids often crashed and burned. Missed notes, severe breaks in rhythm, an occasional complete halt and abandonment were common. Only a few seemed able to get through their low level pieces without glaring mistakes.

As time went on, the bar kept getting higher. The kids got older, more polished, more used to performing. More and more would get through their pieces without the worst kind of mistakes. At some point, perhaps year four of competitions, every kid would play fairly well, at least to untrained ears. At that level, it was the pedaling, the dynamics, the subtle rhythms that were being looked at. To many of the parents, it seemed that all the kids played note perfect. Most parents don't have trained ears. The judges and teachers still could discern and separate.

It was at this stage my young relative gave up competitions. The judging was becoming finer and finer. The teacher suggested a grand piano as a necessary tool to compete on those finer points. The family didn't have the space or the money for a grand, so that was the end of the road as far as competitions.

Re: Should recitals be error-free? [Re: tinman1943] #2695891
12/10/17 05:59 PM
12/10/17 05:59 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 3,382
western MA, USA
H
hreichgott Offline
3000 Post Club Member
hreichgott  Offline
3000 Post Club Member
H
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 3,382
western MA, USA
Originally Posted by tinman1943

When my kids were taking Suzuki violin,
they (and their peers) were expected to perform their recital pieces without mistakes.

But various piano teachers I have tried routinely stage recitals where student performances (including my own) are often marred by wrong notes, lapses in rhythm, etc.

Imho the difference here is a difference between piano and violin.
(Or, really, a difference between piano and any other instrument, except maybe the pipe organ.)
Pianists have more notes in a piece than any other instrument. More simultaneous notes per hand, and two hands playing two independent parts far far earlier in training than violinists have to learn multiple notes and multiple parts.
So a wrong note is not a sign of not knowing the piece.


Heather W. Reichgott, piano http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com

Working on:
Cabaret (whole show)
12+ variations from classical ballets
Verdi: Stabat Mater
Copland: Appalachian Spring
Tangos and other fun music for piano duo

I love Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and new music
Re: Should recitals be error-free? [Re: hreichgott] #2695898
12/10/17 06:43 PM
12/10/17 06:43 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 15,968
Canada
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
keystring  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 15,968
Canada
Originally Posted by hreichgott
Originally Posted by tinman1943

When my kids were taking Suzuki violin,
they (and their peers) were expected to perform their recital pieces without mistakes.

But various piano teachers I have tried routinely stage recitals where student performances (including my own) are often marred by wrong notes, lapses in rhythm, etc.

Imho the difference here is a difference between piano and violin.
(Or, really, a difference between piano and any other instrument, except maybe the pipe organ.)
Pianists have more notes in a piece than any other instrument. More simultaneous notes per hand, and two hands playing two independent parts far far earlier in training than violinists have to learn multiple notes and multiple parts.
So a wrong note is not a sign of not knowing the piece.

You know, I don't think that perfect is expected in violin recitals either. I do believe that the teacher of tinman's kids asked for it, as he relates. In violin, a note might not be in tune, a bow might not be straight leading to an off-sound - there are other challenges, and these things are at least as difficult.

In regards to recitals, I believe their first purpose is to get students used to playing before others. The first time I ever did a recital (violin btw, as an adult) I ended up playing faster and faster. I didn't know I would do that, or that it is normal for it to happen. I gained knowledge and self-knowledge from that experience. The next time I could expect it and use strategies to counter it. With more recitals, they started to become more "normal", like having a conversation. That's what I think recitals are actually about. I'd be interested in what others think about this.

Re: Should recitals be error-free? [Re: tinman1943] #2695929
12/10/17 10:26 PM
12/10/17 10:26 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 67
NC
tinman1943 Offline OP

Silver Supporter until Jan 04 2013
tinman1943  Offline OP

Silver Supporter until Jan 04 2013

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 67
NC
Thanks to everyone for the encouraging (yes) and perceptive comments. I hesitate to reply to individual ones lest someone feel left out.
But my overall impressions are:
(a) fix the way I practice (lots of specific, relevant suggestions on this one)
(b) don't get discouraged, and maybe
(c) learn some "recovery" techniques.

BTW, one poster remarked:
"remember, you are trying to make music, not computer code."
As it happens, making computer code is what I did for a living,
So perhaps I need to learn to change my mindset as well.

I'll be checking back again in case anyone else has any new suggestions.

TM


tinman1943
Adult Learner
--Music is poetry; why print it like prose?--
Re: Should recitals be error-free? [Re: tinman1943] #2704691
01/13/18 09:17 PM
01/13/18 09:17 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 67
NC
tinman1943 Offline OP

Silver Supporter until Jan 04 2013
tinman1943  Offline OP

Silver Supporter until Jan 04 2013

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 67
NC
Just a follow-up: I can finally play my recital piece "error free"
My Christmas recital piece was O Holy Night from the Faber Adult Piano Adventures Christmas Book, Level 2, an arrangement over 50 measures long.

I performed after one month of practice but still had errors.
But on advice of some posters that it might take 2 or 3 months to get a piece "performance ready", I kept at it, and now (two months after starting) I can usually get through it with all the notes right.

I must say it is encouraging to realize that it can be done.
I'm beginning to wonder why my teachers (or myself) never insisted I get it "right"
before showing it off.


tinman1943
Adult Learner
--Music is poetry; why print it like prose?--
Re: Should recitals be error-free? [Re: tinman1943] #2704693
01/13/18 09:22 PM
01/13/18 09:22 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,923
W
Whizbang Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Whizbang  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
W
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,923
Originally Posted by tinman1943

I'm beginning to wonder why my teachers (or myself) never insisted I get it "right"
before showing it off.


There is a balance, in my opinion. There is an attention to detail and focus on quality that I think the best musicians have. And then there is an obsession with perfection that can be very counterproductive.


Whizbang [Linked Image]
amateur ragtime pianist
https://www.youtube.com/user/Aeschala
Re: Should recitals be error-free? [Re: Whizbang] #2704754
01/14/18 09:29 AM
01/14/18 09:29 AM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,783
Philadelphia, PA
J
jdw Offline
1000 Post Club Member
jdw  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,783
Philadelphia, PA
Originally Posted by Whizbang
And then there is an obsession with perfection that can be very counterproductive.


This is so true that it's worth repeating!


1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Chopin, Waltz in E minor (op. posth.)
Schubert, Op. 90 no. 2
Mendelssohn, Op. 19 no. 2
Re: Should recitals be error-free? [Re: tinman1943] #2704780
01/14/18 11:53 AM
01/14/18 11:53 AM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 10,616
B
bennevis Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
bennevis  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 10,616
I think the best approach is to practice like a professional, until you don't make any errors (but also learn how to deal with them if they do occur).

Remember the oft-quoted dictum? ("Amateurs practice until they can get it right; professionals practice until they can't get it wrong")

When I was a student, I applied that to my exam pieces, but not to others (because the latter only needed to pass the scrutiny of my teacher, whose main concern was that I learnt what I needed to from them, not that I could play them perfectly). I didn't play recitals.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Should recitals be error-free? [Re: tinman1943] #2704824
01/14/18 01:42 PM
01/14/18 01:42 PM
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 291
pianopi Offline

Full Member
pianopi  Offline

Full Member
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 291
For me, hitting the wrong notes is very jarring and indicates a sloppy reading of the score.

For the past month I have been sticky-noting out everything in the score except for a half to a full measure. I am playing the French suite in G (Bach) starting with the Allemande. I have never played Bach satisfactorily previously because I was giving it a too-careless reading, so I am setting about doing it properly. Each note in the Bach piece, to me, is very meaningful, and it really worth giving it as thorough and detailed an effort as I can.

Because I only have a few notes etc. to study at a time, I can really make sure I cover:
-hitting the correct notes almost always
-watching out for rests, layering, detached notes etc.
-and I make sure the rhythm is strong

And all this at a slow-enough pace so I can keep focus. A lot of times I have been playing through pieces, hitting the correct notes by luck, and not through proper concentration. In recitals, my concentration leaves me because I start thinking about, well, everything you start thinking about in recitals other than the music. So training myself to focus is really important.

Once everything is as correct as I understand it to be, I give myself another one or two notes to learn. (I do have to look ahead a bit to see where I'm going so I can make sure you I have the correct fingering.)

So accuracy and rhythm I try to get down right at the start with the same attitude as sitting plonk in the middle of the piano stool without falling off. I never really miss the piano stool when I sit down, and I never think about it much, and similarly with the notes of the pieces I am learning. Of course I do miss them on occasions. But if hitting the right notes becomes as fundamental as sitting down or walking without tripping up, then you do it as a matter of course.

And it may be a case of: I don't play expressively - ... - but I play with wonderful accuracy; but I don't think so. You have to love the pieces you play. I ask myself of the pieces I work on: if this was the last piece I ever play, would I die happy? And then it's worth the accuracy, and the expression comes anyway. 90% of the time I am my own audience, and I play to please myself, and accuracy is one of the things that pleases. If a composer has spent the time working out and choosing particular notes, then it's worth taking the time to play them.

I'll shut up now.

Last edited by pianopi; 01/14/18 01:46 PM.

"Genius is not the sign of demigodliness, but the sign of having a profoundly practical mind" - anonymous

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTc4esj9xQG6NjLIr9an29Q
Re: Should recitals be error-free? [Re: bennevis] #2704834
01/14/18 02:12 PM
01/14/18 02:12 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,238
Maine
P
PianoStudent88 Offline
4000 Post Club Member
PianoStudent88  Offline
4000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,238
Maine
Originally Posted by bennevis
I think the best approach is to practice like a professional, until you don't make any errors (but also learn how to deal with them if they do occur).

Remember the oft-quoted dictum? ("Amateurs practice until they can get it right; professionals practice until they can't get it wrong")

This gets said often, but it can be puzzling to figure out how to actually do it.


Piano Career Academy - Ilinca Vartic teaches the Russian school of piano playing
Musical-U - guidance for increasing musicality
Theta Music Trainer - fun ear training games
Re: Should recitals be error-free? [Re: PianoStudent88] #2704858
01/14/18 03:26 PM
01/14/18 03:26 PM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,783
Philadelphia, PA
J
jdw Offline
1000 Post Club Member
jdw  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,783
Philadelphia, PA
Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
Originally Posted by bennevis
I think the best approach is to practice like a professional, until you don't make any errors (but also learn how to deal with them if they do occur).

Remember the oft-quoted dictum? ("Amateurs practice until they can get it right; professionals practice until they can't get it wrong")

This gets said often, but it can be puzzling to figure out how to actually do it.


I have never liked this saying, because to me it perpetuates the erroneous idea that professionals do not make mistakes. Of course they do, which is why they need to know how to deal with errors.

A more accurate, if less catchy, way to put it, might be that professionals practice until they are unlikely to get it wrong. Being human, they can't reduce the possibility to zero. This may seem like nitpicking, but I'm often surprised by how literally people take the proverbial saying. Maybe because of the magic of recordings, they actually believe that professional virtuosi do not make mistakes (actual professionals know better).

Of course, at advanced levels people make much better mistakes than beginning students do--which is why most of us don't hear them even in live performances!


1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Chopin, Waltz in E minor (op. posth.)
Schubert, Op. 90 no. 2
Mendelssohn, Op. 19 no. 2
Re: Should recitals be error-free? [Re: PianoStudent88] #2704859
01/14/18 03:28 PM
01/14/18 03:28 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 10,616
B
bennevis Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
bennevis  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 10,616
Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
Originally Posted by bennevis
I think the best approach is to practice like a professional, until you don't make any errors (but also learn how to deal with them if they do occur).

Remember the oft-quoted dictum? ("Amateurs practice until they can get it right; professionals practice until they can't get it wrong")

This gets said often, but it can be puzzling to figure out how to actually do it.

It's like anything other skilled activity - e.g. scoring goals in soccer. Professional players practice kicking into the corners of the goalposts, because that's where they are most likely to miss. They don't practice kicking straight into the middle, because any duffer can score kicking straight into the middle - if the goalkeeper isn't there, of course grin.

But of course, that's assuming they already have the skills to kick the footballs straight. So, professionals already have all the skills, but they just need to practice until they don't hit wrong notes. Therefore, they spend the vast majority of the time practicing the difficult sections, the ones that they don't feel 'safe' - until they feel safe, before they think about presenting it to the public. (That's assuming that they already know exactly what they want to do interpretatively). They don't waste time playing through whole pieces all the way through again & again, when practicing.

In fact, that's very similar to how my school choir rehearsed (every piece that we learnt, we also performed eventually) - we sight-read slowly through it, then read through it again but correcting mistakes/misreadings as we did so and getting the dynamics, phrasing and balance down, then practiced our respective parts at home. When we returned for the next rehearsal, we'd sing it through from beginning to end, then work on the sections that caused problems (with notes, tuning, rhythm, synchronization etc). In subsequent rehearsals, we only repeated those sections, then just sang it once through before we finished. When we'd got to the stage where everything felt reasonably 'safe' we put in the small details that turned it into music fit for an audience - the rubato, the more intricate details of balance between voices and articulation etc. But we still kept practicing the difficult sections by themselves until they weren't just 'safe', but they felt no more difficult than the easy sections. That was when we felt we were ready for public performance. The audience must not notice that we once had difficulties with some parts of the score, and had to work on them for many weeks to get them exactly the way we wanted them to sound.

Evidently, that is only possible if we performed music that's within our technical range and skills. For example, if only half the sopranos could reach the highest notes comfortably, we wouldn't perform the piece. Similarly, when professionals choose what to perform, they select only the pieces they feel comfortable with, musically as well as technically. If they have physical limitations (small hands/stretches etc), they wouldn't perform some pieces, maybe not even some composers. If they are not musically inclined towards, or comfortable with, music of certain eras, they wouldn't perform them (though they might still learn the music for their own satisfaction at home - almost all concert pianists have much bigger rep than what they actually choose to perform in public). Many pianists don't perform Bach, for example. Many more won't touch atonal music or anything more 'contemporary' than Debussy or Rachmaninov. Some only play the Viennese classics.

For an example of what happens when a famous pianist plays music that he has no affinity with, just listen to Glenn Gould playing almost anything other than Baroque/polyphonic......


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3

Moderated by  BB Player 

New In Our Store!
New In Our Store!
A few of the many new items we've added to our online store.
(PianoSupplies.com is a division of Piano World)
wrap around sunglasses with music notes
Wrap around sun glasses with music notes


88 keys, 10 fingers, no problem
88 Keys, 10 Fingers, No Problem


Bass Clef Hat
Bass Clef Hat

Tons more music related products in our online store!
(ad)
Pianoforall
PianoForAll
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Keys to Learn?
by Paul4703. 07/22/18 04:06 AM
Best Exercises?
by Paul4703. 07/22/18 03:28 AM
Tips On Refinishing Piano?
by SLT16. 07/22/18 02:36 AM
Kawai K200 Anytime Hybrid questions
by MarkL. 07/21/18 07:38 PM
Slicing Balance Rail Punchings
by Fidel. 07/21/18 06:54 PM
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Steingraeber
(125ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Forum Statistics
Forums40
Topics186,526
Posts2,733,331
Members90,613
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers


 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2018 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.1.1