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Going to my first piano meetup
#2857217 06/10/19 11:05 AM
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I'm going to my first piano meetup this Saturday.

They have a concert grade Yamaha Grand Piano and I'm super excited to see/feel/hear how it plays. I grew up with an upright and have a DP so getting a feel for a concert grand is going to be an experience. I'm mostly interested in what it is like to regulate if I get much of a chance to play.

I hope I can approach it as an experience to get a feel for the instrument rather than being so anxious about making a big mistake and having all my attention consumed by the focus on not making a mistake.

I am quite excited.

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Re: Going to my first piano meetup
KevinM #2857226 06/10/19 11:41 AM
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That's awesome! I wish that I had that opportunity one of these days...I wish you luck.

Re: Going to my first piano meetup
KevinM #2857269 06/10/19 02:16 PM
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Enjoy the experience! They say there is a difference between performing and practicing..so enjoy the performing!
I ave yet to pluck up the courage to attend a meetup, my teacher keeps encouraging me. Too much going on to do anything, yet.


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Re: Going to my first piano meetup
KevinM #2857288 06/10/19 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by KevinM
[...]I hope I can approach it as an experience to get a feel for the instrument rather than being so anxious about making a big mistake and having all my attention consumed by the focus on not making a mistake.

I am quite excited.


You might want to start the experience with one of your easier pieces, one you can normally play without any stress or tension. That should give you a feel for the piano's action and sound with some lessening of the additional factor of the stress of public "performance". Later, if you have the chance, you can try something more demanding.

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Re: Going to my first piano meetup
KevinM #2857337 06/10/19 06:26 PM
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What BruceD says.


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Re: Going to my first piano meetup
KevinM #2857360 06/10/19 08:14 PM
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The concert grand is going to be very different experience from your DP. Is it possible for you to get to the venue a little early so you can try out the piano, even if only for a minute? That may make you feel less anxious as you get ready to strike your first notes. When you perform, sing the melody in your head and try to be in the moment. Enjoy.



Re: Going to my first piano meetup
BruceD #2857410 06/11/19 03:06 AM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by KevinM
[...]I hope I can approach it as an experience to get a feel for the instrument rather than being so anxious about making a big mistake and having all my attention consumed by the focus on not making a mistake.

I am quite excited.


You might want to start the experience with one of your easier pieces, one you can normally play without any stress or tension. That should give you a feel for the piano's action and sound with some lessening of the additional factor of the stress of public "performance". Later, if you have the chance, you can try something more demanding.

Regards,


I have only one piece I know without requiring sheet music, and that I've played without a note or rhythm mistake for some time now so it is clear what I'll play. I'll still be taking the sheet music. Anything else will result in a mistake. I'm trying to approach this with a its going to be a friendly supportive group but if I get a chance to play a second piece I will have had time to evaluate the group dynamics and whether I'm prepared to play in front of the group a second piece which is likely to have mistakes.

Re: Going to my first piano meetup
PianogrlNW #2857411 06/11/19 03:10 AM
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Originally Posted by PianogrlNW
The concert grand is going to be very different experience from your DP. Is it possible for you to get to the venue a little early so you can try out the piano, even if only for a minute? That may make you feel less anxious as you get ready to strike your first notes. When you perform, song the melody in your head and try to be in the moment. Enjoy.


Luckily the organiser has made clear that the venue will be open half an hour before the start of the meetup to give people a chance to feel out the piano. I'm sure others have played grands before but for the group this is the first time at this venue so this specific piano will be new to everyone. But this means there will be competition to get access to the piano before the meetup. I will be there half an hour early.

Re: Going to my first piano meetup
KevinM #2857419 06/11/19 04:16 AM
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Sounds like a great opportunity Kevin, and it also sounds like you are approaching it really sensibly. I hope you have a great experience!


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Re: Going to my first piano meetup
KevinM #2857569 06/11/19 04:32 PM
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KevinM - why don’t you go to your local piano store and ask if you could have a half hour or so to check out some of their acoustic grands. Who knows, you might fall in love and might one day want to buy a grand piano. The biggest difference is the action. If you’re going to play a full concert grand at the meet up, you should fall in love. Playing a concert grand should feel like driving a Lamborghini. You should feel like you’re playing and sounding so much better. Stay calm, breathe in breathe out slowly. Begin. As you’re playing you can hear how beautiful the sound.
Best of Luck!


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Re: Going to my first piano meetup
KevinM #2858712 06/15/19 03:40 AM
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Heading off shortly to the meet up. Excited and anxious simultaneously.

Re: Going to my first piano meetup
KevinM #2858815 06/15/19 12:51 PM
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It was fantastic. The piano was great, a concert grade Yamaha grand piano. So utterly different to what I am used to. I turned up 40 minutes early and I spent at least 10 minutes just getting a feel for it. It feels like a truck to my moped Casio DP at home. The dynamic weight is huge, the pivot length must be long, the keys at the front only move about half a centimetre and at the back still move a significant amount.

What stunned me with this extra requirement of strength needed was also the extra control it gave me. There was a far more physical connection between the what I wanted to achieve and what I needed to do to achieve that. With my DP I am always so conscious of needing to keep a light touch and that requires a lot of mental resource.

Everyone was kind, my first piece I was confident with my ability to play it but my hands were shaking the whole way through but I was still really happy with the result. When I played a second piece after a break where we all just had a nice chat I pulled it off when I was out of practise with the piece, but there were far fewer nerves.

The level of playing by the others was great, and it was fantastic just to sit and listen to others playing great music.

It was such a positive experience.

Re: Going to my first piano meetup
KevinM #2858846 06/15/19 02:46 PM
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Sounds like a great tome, Kenin! What did you play? My first experience with a grand was very similar. Much more effort but much more control. It takes getting used to!!


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Re: Going to my first piano meetup
KevinM #2858854 06/15/19 03:24 PM
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Glad u enjoyed. I have been going to one group three times. I have found it has helped me to practice and to play pieces longer.

Re: Going to my first piano meetup
cmb13 #2858878 06/15/19 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by cmb13
Sounds like a great tome, Kenin! What did you play? My first experience with a grand was very similar. Much more effort but much more control. It takes getting used to!!


It was. I played Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen and later Mendelssohn Song Without Words Op 30.3. I hadn't touched the mendelssohn piece for sometime so I had to practise it a bit the last couple of days to get back to playing without errors so I was more anxious about it.

From other players we had a huge range. From Für Elise played very well, and the same woman also played this which was beautiful and I'd never heard it before: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=33&v=gkjAG1It-ys

To another player who played Beethoven's Waldstein and then a Samuel Barber Sonata first movement which was beyond my comprehension. The way he played felt like he was a virtuoso. But no one was belittled for their level and everyone was supportive.

There was also pieces like Debussy's Reverie.

Re: Going to my first piano meetup
KevinM #2859004 06/16/19 12:44 AM
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Sounds amazing! Please excuse above typos- using iPhone.


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Re: Going to my first piano meetup
KevinM #2859070 06/16/19 08:11 AM
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Piano meetups are fantastic, I goto several each month in my area. The only ‘downside’ I feel about them is that there are excellent players that tend to routinely play at them and given some are quite advanced level, one can experience a sense of inferiority and inadequacy playing. In one of my regular groups, a woman played Chopin Nocturne Op 27/1 very well and told me she had to stop attending the group for a whole year because she would go home feeling like a failure because everyone else in the group would show up month after month with polished pieces like Rachmaninoff Preludes and Liszt Etudes and she kept playing the same Bach Invention over and over because her Chopin pieces were just not ready. So there is that risk, lol.

There is also the risk that someone else in the group may play the same piece you prepared so that you feel audience members will be silently comparing your skills to the other player (compare and contrast). Its a bit nerve wracking so I always bring several different pieces that are performance ready if such an event happens. A few years ago, someone else in the group played Moonlight Sonata 1st movement and I chose to play the 2nd movement instead.

Last edited by AssociateX; 06/16/19 08:18 AM.

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Re: Going to my first piano meetup
AssociateX #2859131 06/16/19 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by AssociateX
Piano meetups are fantastic, I goto several each month in my area. The only ‘downside’ I feel about them is that there are excellent players that tend to routinely play at them and given some are quite advanced level, one can experience a sense of inferiority and inadequacy playing. In one of my regular groups, a woman played Chopin Nocturne Op 27/1 very well and told me she had to stop attending the group for a whole year because she would go home feeling like a failure because everyone else in the group would show up month after month with polished pieces like Rachmaninoff Preludes and Liszt Etudes and she kept playing the same Bach Invention over and over because her Chopin pieces were just not ready. So there is that risk, lol.

There is also the risk that someone else in the group may play the same piece you prepared so that you feel audience members will be silently comparing your skills to the other player (compare and contrast). Its a bit nerve wracking so I always bring several different pieces that are performance ready if such an event happens. A few years ago, someone else in the group played Moonlight Sonata 1st movement and I chose to play the 2nd movement instead.


The comparing myself to others is definitely going to be an issue for me. Not from yesterdays meetup, yes some other players were playing pieces way more complex than I can deal with, but I played the two pieces I chose well and I performed as well as could be expected of me considering my experience, and my experience with those specific pieces.

There will come a time, when I will feel I will have let myself down, and feel that I played far worse than I could of. That is when I'll be vulnerable, when the self doubt will start and will start looking to find other reasons to confirm that feeling. That is when I will have to consciously pull myself back from comparing myself to others.

It will be nice one day to have a collection of pieces that are performance ready.

Re: Going to my first piano meetup
KevinM #2859152 06/16/19 12:09 PM
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Kevin
Disappointing yourself is tough (I’ve been there) but it is not the same as thinking ‘well, I didn’t play well but I played better than xxx and worse than xxx, xxx). Comparing yourself to others is destructive. Being disappointed with yourself can be positive or negative: positive if you take the opportunity to think of how it can be better next time, such as ‘I rushed to start. Next time I will take a few breaths, think of the first measures and then move my hands toward the keys’ You may need to mentally pat yourself on the back for what you did do well, such as’ sigh, I didn’t stop!’

None of this post performance work is easy. The last time I did not play well it took me a few days before I was able to listen to the recording... before that, I just wanted to wallow around

BTW: try to record yourself even if on just a cellphone. Listening gives you some real perspective. .... it is usually better than you think (IMHO of course )


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