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#1012505 - 12/09/05 05:10 PM Entertaining the Maytag Repair Man
Cindysphinx Offline


Registered: 02/14/03
Posts: 6416
Loc: Washington D.C. Metro
I once interviewed a very skilled pianist who got serious about performing as an adult. I asked him how he got used to performing and handled his nerves.

He said you have to take every opportunity to perform. "When the cleaning lady comes, sit her down and play for her," he said.

Well, today the furnace guy came. He was down in the basement for a long while and in my kitchen writing proposals. I took the opportunity to practice and gave him a (not very good) recital.

So here's a challenge for those with performance anxiety: The next time a repair person or cleaning person is in your house, go play something. And come back here and tell us how it went.

FWIW, he said I was great. He was just saying that to win my business, but I'll take all the praise I can get. \:D
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#1012506 - 12/09/05 05:13 PM Re: Entertaining the Maytag Repair Man
Glyptodont Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/05
Posts: 377
Loc: Wisconsin
Sometimes I play with no one to hear but the cats. They are good kitties, and just sit there patiently and watch me play.

Often the mailman comes by at the time I play. During the summer, when the windows are open, I think "maybe the mailman enjoys it."
_________________________
the Glyptodont

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#1012507 - 12/09/05 05:44 PM Re: Entertaining the Maytag Repair Man
yellowville Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/17/05
Posts: 246
Loc: Ithaca, NY
One of the (many) reasons I wanted to learn to play was because I love to take a walk through the neighborhood just after the sun has set. Once in great while I'll hear someone playing the piano with the windows open to the night. I love imagining that I'm giving some stranger that listening experience...
_________________________
That man is richest whose pleasures are the cheapest. - H. D. Thoreau

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#1012508 - 12/09/05 06:00 PM Re: Entertaining the Maytag Repair Man
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10422
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
A few weeks ago I was sitting at the piano early in the morning. My kids are off by 7:30 and that gives me a little time to play before I go to work. I had just finished the wonderful little Mozart Fantasy in D. When I looked up, the guy who reads the natural gas meter was smiling in the window with a big thumbs up. Now that's applause!
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Grotrian 192 #156455

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#1012509 - 12/10/05 05:15 AM Re: Entertaining the Maytag Repair Man
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
Before my daughter dumped her boyfriend his whole posse was in and out of my house at all hours, that helped me develop a bit of sang froid. I also remember a line your that old Disney movie, the Aristocats, when the kittens are squabbling, "You're not a LADY - you're just a SISTER." I turn that into "You're not an audience, you're just a UPS man (or whatever)"
I often think as shy as he was, if Chopin hadn't grown up in a large family, in what was to some extent, a boarding house, he wouldn't have been able to play for audiences at all. (He was NEVER really comfortable with more than a small coterie of friends.) I'm an only child so I've really had to work at it.
_________________________
Slow down and do it right.

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#1012510 - 12/10/05 10:25 AM Re: Entertaining the Maytag Repair Man
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
When we were doing are humungous remodeling project last year (yay! almost a year ago!), there were work dudes in my house 8 hours a day for months.

If I didn't practice with them around, I didn't practice. It felt weird at first, but then I just got used to it. They all mentioned how nice it was to be on a job site where there was piano music. (Note: I'm not that good \:\) --maybe they were just sucking up to a paying customer.)

Anyhoo, one day the Qwest guy had to come and help fix the phone line that got cut (different story). He was a real jerk, cranky and complaining about how he'd have to charge me and it was really the other workman's fault, blah, blah, blah.

My daughter and her friend came home from school and we practiced a song they were performing for choir. (Daughter and friend were adding flute and clarinet accompaniment.) The Qwest guy had a personality transformation right then and there! He was a music major in school (played some type of horn), loved music, thought the girls played really well, music is so important, blah blah blah.

He fixed everything and didn't charge me a cent.

So I say, "Sure! Practice with work guys around!"

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#1012511 - 12/10/05 12:56 PM Re: Entertaining the Maytag Repair Man
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 3925
Loc: Haverhill, Massachusetts
I've decided that I will play no matter who is around. Like Nina we had our house renovated a few months ago, and I needed to practice so I did anyway. The workers didn't seem to mind, and one of them mentioned that his daughter was studying piano. It turned out that she was going to New England and in their Preparatory program!

During the summer time, when it's not too humid, I play with the windows open. I don't care if the neighborhood listens because I am enjoying the music. I play for myself and no one else. The funny part is I've had passers-by stop and listen to me, and then stop by later to compliment me on my playing.

John
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#1012512 - 12/10/05 01:24 PM Re: Entertaining the Maytag Repair Man
wolfindmist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/04
Posts: 1478
Loc: In a state full of Volcanoes
You need to stroll around my neighborhood Yellowville . A couple blocks from my house is a very large Vintage Steinway Grand that was fully restored by the Steinway folks themselves. It took nearly a year and 25,000 to get that piano restored (with local history behind it as it was in a local balroom). The owner bought it for 2 grand.

The Steinway folks even found nice "old ivory" for the keytops.

The piano is now estimated around 150,000 to 175,000 (maybe more even). Good investment.... that turned out well but they were anxious about the process and the amount of money put into the piano. I think it's a 9ft grand btw, a very big piano. You can hear it for blocks; and the owner is a wonderful pianist to boot.

 Quote:
Originally posted by yellowville:
One of the (many) reasons I wanted to learn to play was because I love to take a walk through the neighborhood just after the sun has set. Once in great while I'll hear someone playing the piano with the windows open to the night. I love imagining that I'm giving some stranger that listening experience... [/b]
_________________________
I have my own weapon of mass destruction in the form of a "teenage" German Shepherd. Anything she spies and can get ahold of is fair game.

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#1012513 - 12/10/05 01:41 PM Re: Entertaining the Maytag Repair Man
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
we now have a visiting bookkeeppeerr.. (after i was fired) she schedules her time to coincide with my practice time.. grandpa comes in to nap at that time ;\) .. my neighbors love the spring and fall when the windows are open..

i make alot of mistakes
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, ├Ľun (apple in Estonian)

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#1012514 - 12/10/05 01:53 PM Re: Entertaining the Maytag Repair Man
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
 Quote:
Originally posted by wolfindmist:
That Steinway makes my piano the second best in the neighborhood.
Great piano story about the Steinway. I notice old pianos are so often dismissed out of hand on the "Piano" forum. BTW my old piano IS the best in my neighborhood. Of course I'm surrounded by frat houses (my house used to be one) so go figure- - - \:D
_________________________
Slow down and do it right.

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#1012515 - 12/11/05 06:41 PM Re: Entertaining the Maytag Repair Man
wolfindmist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/04
Posts: 1478
Loc: In a state full of Volcanoes
There are some gems around in the old piano market; if a buyer spends the time to do some research first and is willing to look long and hard one can find a special piano. But some pianos you have to look for years before you might find one of high quality.

But at times there is a risk that a restoration not turn out as well as one hopes from what I understand.Like for the folks that found that nice vintage Steinway; they are not rich folks just white collar workers. But they knew the risks going into buying a piano that needed expert by hand restoration; and that the process involved shipping the piano clear across the country at least at one point. The wife being into piano's had an eye for a good piano. The hubby had his qualms, but it turned out really great.

Plus the wife let the hubby get a new sports car to drive, after she got her steinway piano to drive.LOL

My piano tuner said that Steinway was his dream piano, but he turned it down because he thought it take a crane to get it out of the building (the hubby figured out the math and determined there was a way to get the Steinway out of the building via the stairwell). The tuner says it is like having a sportscar parked in the living room. Too cool if you asked me. Who needs couches and chairs anyhow.

They took a big gamble money wise with their savings and won. They should vacation at Vegas. LOL.
_________________________
I have my own weapon of mass destruction in the form of a "teenage" German Shepherd. Anything she spies and can get ahold of is fair game.

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#1012516 - 12/11/05 06:47 PM Re: Entertaining the Maytag Repair Man
wolfindmist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/04
Posts: 1478
Loc: In a state full of Volcanoes
BTW The neighborhood huge Steinway can really sing. Best I have heard so far piano wise.

I would suggest to them they need a bigger house for the big Steinway... but then I'd miss out hearing it being played. So I keep my mouth shut and listen, listen ,listen.

I need to sign up for some piano lessons at her place. LOL
_________________________
I have my own weapon of mass destruction in the form of a "teenage" German Shepherd. Anything she spies and can get ahold of is fair game.

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#1012517 - 12/12/05 10:43 PM Re: Entertaining the Maytag Repair Man
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
Thanks for the elaboration, Wolf, I love piano stories. When I bought my square grand, local fortunately, my husband had plenty of qualms too, but wisely kept his mouth shut until after the piano was restrung and sitting proudly in my lair. (My 21 year old daughter still thinks I'm insane.) I've got about $6,000 in it and I've seen the identical one marked sold at $30,000 so I guess I did all right. My poor old upright leaves a lot to be desired. It was a less than wonderful repo 45 years ago when my Dad bought it and it hasn't improved with age. I shouldn't complain though, my poor husband tried to take lessons as a kid with NO piano at all. Needless to say he didn't get very far with the piano, though he did grow up to be an Air Force bugler. I knew I'd never be able to afford a really good instrument unless I lucked up, as I did. But they're right when they say we make our own luck.
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