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Practicing a lot (of other stuff) during performance day
#3037792 10/20/20 03:57 PM
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What's your experience with practicing a lot of stuff for upcoming performances on the day when you should be performing something, instead of just relaxing?

I've never quite had to do this - I would always just relax so that my brain would be fresh and ready to perform. But tomorrow is the first such day where I have a very important gig, but also I HAVE to practice Islamey for probably several hours for an upcoming competition, because it's not coming along as well I expected it to, it's not "coming along nicely", to quote the movie Shine... so I just can't miss a day right now.

I have to play some Beethoven with my colleagues in the afternoon tomorrow. But I don't feel like screwing up on the same stage where Lucas Debargue is supposed to by playing just 3 hours later. So I'm wondering if 5 hours of Islamey during the hours before would tire my brain too much... though the Beethoven is in my fingers very well...

What do you usually do in such cases? It would make sense that people who have 2-3 concerts a week are bound to practice a lot during the days of the concerts, but then again, I hear that a lot of musicians practice very little during concert season...

Should I just practice in the morning and leave a decent gap before the performance? What would you do? I really don't feel like experimenting tomorrow...

Re: Practicing a lot (of other stuff) during performance day
CianistAndPomposer #3037795 10/20/20 04:08 PM
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Caveat: I have never tried to learn Islamey or anything quite like it so I just cannot speak to the necessities of preparing such a piece!

Anyway...I do have experience with needing to remain sharp for complicated matters, and I will say that if you do end up needing to spend a decent amount of the performance day drilling something else, perhaps you could do it earlier in the day and then make sure to take a decent nap afterwards, just to reset your brain. Then get up, have a light meal, and put the Beethoven back in your fingers.

The mental restorative power of a good nap is highly, highly underappreciated.

You don't have to sleep for hours (and shouldn't) but perhaps 45 minutes to an hour or so, and really fall asleep. Not relaxing/dozing. Sleep.

Re: Practicing a lot (of other stuff) during performance day
TwoSnowflakes #3037802 10/20/20 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by TwoSnowflakes
The mental restorative power of a good nap is highly, highly underappreciated.

You don't have to sleep for hours (and shouldn't) but perhaps 45 minutes to an hour or so, and really fall asleep. Not relaxing/dozing. Sleep.
thumb


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: Practicing a lot (of other stuff) during performance day
TwoSnowflakes #3037803 10/20/20 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by TwoSnowflakes
Caveat: I have never tried to learn Islamey or anything quite like it so I just cannot speak to the necessities of preparing such a piece!

Anyway...I do have experience with needing to remain sharp for complicated matters, and I will say that if you do end up needing to spend a decent amount of the performance day drilling something else, perhaps you could do it earlier in the day and then make sure to take a decent nap afterwards, just to reset your brain. Then get up, have a light meal, and put the Beethoven back in your fingers.

The mental restorative power of a good nap is highly, highly underappreciated.

You don't have to sleep for hours (and shouldn't) but perhaps 45 minutes to an hour or so, and really fall asleep. Not relaxing/dozing. Sleep.

Ah, thanks for the tip, but a daytime nap is not going to happen... I have trouble sleeping during night as it is, especially if i'm nervous the day before a performance... and on the day of, if I tried to nap, i'd just be lying on my bed with my eyes wide open and my heart racing.

I guess i'm just going to practice after the concert then...

Re: Practicing a lot (of other stuff) during performance day
CianistAndPomposer #3037834 10/20/20 07:00 PM
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Well, I sure hope you're sleeping by now (it's 3am in Estonia!), but I just wanted to add since I didn't say it before, good luck with your Beethoven performance tomorrow/today!

Re: Practicing a lot (of other stuff) during performance day
CianistAndPomposer #3037890 10/21/20 02:36 AM
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I think it's more important not to overdo your practice of the music that you are about to play. Practising a piece on the day of a concert can cause problems, unless you go through it easily i.e. charging up the batteries instead of exhausting them.

Playing different music shouldn't be a problem if you're mentally relaxed. If you're purely technical work on Islamey you can end the session feeling relaxed and energised.

Grigory Sokolov supposedly practises for eight hours on concert days BTW.

Re: Practicing a lot (of other stuff) during performance day
CianistAndPomposer #3037939 10/21/20 08:46 AM
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Hope your Beethoven concert is wonderful and I hope you enjoy doing it


"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

It's ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: Practicing a lot (of other stuff) during performance day
CianistAndPomposer #3039507 10/26/20 12:04 PM
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Thanks everyone.

The Beethoven went very well.

The Islamey I butchered today at a scholarship competition for which I prepared for extremely hard.

I want to never do another competition in my life, and instead focus on composing. I've reached my limit as a pianist.

Re: Practicing a lot (of other stuff) during performance day
CianistAndPomposer #3039512 10/26/20 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by CianistAndPomposer
Thanks everyone.

The Beethoven went very well.

The Islamey I butchered today at a scholarship competition for which I prepared for extremely hard.

I want to never do another competition in my life, and instead focus on composing. I've reached my limit as a pianist.

I'm glad that the Beethoven went well, but disappointed the Balakirev didn't go as expected. I'd let a little bit of water go under the bridge before making broad decisions about where your limits are. It's hard to see the forest through the trees when you've just had something not go well, and you're tired and mentally spent.

I am sure things will look different after some rest and perspective. Don't despair! smile


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