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#572790 - 06/29/01 04:35 PM performance tips  
Joined: May 2001
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sj@@k Offline
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sj@@k  Offline
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holland
hi everyone,

yesterday, when i had my second performance i played a prelude from bach but when i was playing i totally forget what was next so i had to start all over again. does anyone have some tips on performancing.(my first performance went very well)

sjaak

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#572791 - 06/29/01 04:54 PM Re: performance tips  
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LadyElton Offline
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LadyElton  Offline
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Southeastern Pennsylvania
I'm not sure if I can offer much advice. I can relate though. I had my first recital on June 2nd. I played Mozart's Minuet in F Major. I had the piece down pact, had it memorized and had played it countless times. However, when I got up on stage my mind went blank. I fumbled my way through the piece.

I was really upset afterwards. I was depressed and ****ed off at myself. Friends and family said "well at least you got up there in the first place." (I have social phobia, panic attacks) I'm hoping that next time will be better.

Hilary


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#572792 - 06/29/01 04:56 PM Re: performance tips  
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CrashTest Offline
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In my experience, a peformance will turn out favorable if you practice the works you wish to play extensively and know them in and out. The more you play in front of people, the better, so try and play for a group of people before you perform. Knowing differnent sections of a piece well is also good, if you have a memory lapse, you can quickly go to one of those areas and make it slightly noticable. Good luck!

#572793 - 06/29/01 05:17 PM Re: performance tips  
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Vid Offline
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A lot of have been there so don't feel too bad. I still get nervous enough that I botch up the music a lot more than I want to. The only advice I can offer is to perform as often as you can. Even if its for just friends or family - make it seem semi-formal and visualize that you are playing on stage. I don't think you can ever entirely get rid of stage fright but you can control it so hang in there!

:rolleyes:


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#572794 - 06/29/01 07:32 PM Re: performance tips  
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LadyElton Offline
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Southeastern Pennsylvania
I admit, I am getting better playing in front of friends and family. After the recital, I played the piece for my grandmother with very few mistakes. I think it might've helped if I could've practiced on the piano that I was going to play for the recital. Next year, I'll just sneak into the church after work and practice. laugh


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#572795 - 06/29/01 11:38 PM Re: performance tips  
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Joe Offline
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I find it helpful to practice the piece in small increments, especially Bach. It's much easier for the brain to absorb things that way as opposed to always playing from beginning to end.

Knowing how the peice is put together is super important, muscle memory is the first thing to go *out the window* when you get nervous.

Someone suggested practicing starting in different places, that has saved me many times! It's nice to be able to jump AHEAD when you get lost, rather than to go back, and potentially get caught in 'the loop of despair'.

I used to be so scared of Bach. I always compared his music to a house of cards, you lose one note and the whole thing can come crashing down on your head. Some of these ways of practicing can be tedious and painful, especially practicing small parts over and over, but using them really helps. My old fear of Bach is long gone.

[ June 29, 2001: Message edited by: Joe ]

#572796 - 06/30/01 10:01 AM Re: performance tips  
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BruceD Offline
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Sj@@k:
The suggestions that have been made are all very valid. Know the piece inside out, as they say. One teacher I heard of makes his students memorize the piece hands separately, and perform it for him, by memory, hands separately, can you imagine! That seems to be an extreme measure, but if you can do that, you'd probably never get lost.
It seems to me the most practical step towards solving this problem is to play the piece/recital for as many private audiences as possible before the performance. Knowing the piano you are going to play on, too, is a comfort that relieves one of the elements of stress.
And, finally, remember that we who lose our place in a piece during performance are in very lofty company. I don't think there is a pianist alive today - professional as well as amateur - who has not had mental blocks. That's no consolation at the time of the "disaster" but it helps put things in perspective afterwards - and maybe even before.
Regards,


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#572797 - 07/04/01 10:55 PM Re: performance tips  
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Aura Offline
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Melbourne, Australia
All the suggestions that I was going to make have already been mentioned very well by all of you, so there isn't really anything more for me to add. Everthing that has been said is very helpful and true...

I am currently trying to get over my fear of Bach fugues, in particular. For a long time, I have absolutely DREADED performing Bach from memory and have had some TERRIBLE experiences when I've had awful memory lapses and have had to skip a page or so and fumble my way through. These are devastating experiences, and I got really scared by them. So that got me thinking and I realised that I had been relying on muscle memory (the easy way out - not really - when you are learning a piece and convincing yourself that you know it!) and didn't actually know the piece analytically. I didn't know exactly what all the voices were doing and where the subjects and countersubjects, episodes etc. occurred. I would recognise them when I played them, but it was not implanted in my MIND. You really need to know your music analytically... as someone mentioned, the first thing to go out the window when we are nervous is our muscle memory!!! It's toture learning to overcome this problem, but well worth it in the end! Bach is such a wonderful composer, his music deserves us to learn it properly.

Cheers
Aura


cheers

Aura
#572798 - 07/04/01 11:46 PM Re: performance tips  
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Joe Offline
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You know, something I know I need to do more is to..... Sing the voices! Singing helps, there's a reason you have to sight sing in school!

I love Bach also, he's way up there for me. In a pure musical sense, he's really my favorite composer, even though there are others I enjoy playing a little more. They all look to Bach, though from Mozart to Arthur 'Two Sheds' Jackson wink

#572799 - 07/05/01 11:01 PM Re: performance tips  
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Aura Offline
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Joe,

Absolutely. I can't agree with what you said about singing the voices. We tend not to hear the lower voices when we need to and get caught up in the sometimes more unimportant top line when the lower part has the subject. Singing all the voices is really helpful.

Bach is SUCH a great composer... everyone after him looked to him as a god...

Cheers


cheers

Aura
#572800 - 07/06/01 01:27 AM Re: performance tips  
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Close your eyes, meditate or try to think
you really dont't give a ......then get on stage......and play your pants off!It works!!


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#572801 - 07/06/01 05:09 AM Re: performance tips  
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BruceD Offline
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Here's another technique I've been told of to tell you how well you really know a piece you think you know.
Try playing it, quite slowly, in your mind, away from the piano. Imagine every note, exact hand position, etc. It can be an excruciatingly difficult exercise and less than successful if you don't have a lot of patience, but it certainly points up your weak spots as far as memorization is concerned.


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#572802 - 07/07/01 06:34 PM Re: performance tips  
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Amy Offline
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Upstate New York
I too had some serious memory problems when I was performing a Chopin waltz. My teacher has recently told me that when you truly have a song memorized you should be able to say the name of the note before you play it. You should try to visualize the music in your head. Also while preparing to play in a concert you should either close your eyes or play in the total dark. If you can play it good like that theres no way that you can mess it up in a concert. smile


-Amy-
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