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#2117409 - 07/14/13 08:48 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: earlofmar]
The Hound Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/11
Posts: 124
Originally Posted By: earlofmar
Originally Posted By: The Hound
So I did my Grade 8 exam with Trinity College a week ago. Been working towards it for months, so I was very annoyed with myself when I messed up one of the technical exercises. I held it together mentally for the pieces afterwards though, and for the sight-reading and aural. I left a bit downcast that I had not achieved the Distinction I knew I was capable of. To make it worse I would get my results late as went away for a few days the next day, and Trinity failed to email them. Spent half the holiday ruminating on that fluffed exercise, and wondering if I'd gotten anything else majorly wrong without realising it.

Got back on Friday, with the results waiting on the doormat. Opened them with trepidation, wife standing next to me and... Distinction! Only just - I got 87/100, which is the lowest mark needed, but a Distinction it nonetheless is! I know I could have gotten somewhere in the 90s, but I am still pleased as punch to have made it into the top bracket.

Next up: diplomas! Haven't decided between Trinity and ABRSM yet. For the latter I'd need to get Grade 5 theory done.


Congratulations, a distinction is a distinction no two ways about it.


Thank you good sir.

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#2117413 - 07/14/13 08:56 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: FarmGirl]
Ragdoll Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/12
Posts: 672
Loc: Illinois
Quote:
I even cleaned the house before played. I hate house cleaning.

thumb Me too, you work all day and six months later it needs cleaned again. grin ha

It sounds like everyone is doing great things with their AOTW. Mine all consist of cleaning up the yard and the Garden Of Weedin'.
I did get my F#m scales up to 150 so far. I only got 1/2 hr of bench time yesterday.
_________________________
Ragdoll

Just be yourself, everyone else is already taken.


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#2117587 - 07/14/13 04:29 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Allard]
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5026
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: Allard
Played Saranoya's beautiful grand. Need I say any more?


And you played beautifully as well.

My AOTW is the realization that I really can not play in front of other people. frown
It was quite a shock for me to play pieces for others that I had been playing with verve, energy, passion and dare I say,... even some accuracy! Only to find that when it came to the crunch the practice didn't get me through anywhere near as well as I would have liked. By the end of the day I was looking at my sheet music, seeing the notes and I had absolutely no idea what to do with my hands. It was as though my brain and my hands belonged to two completely different people who didn't speak the same language.

It's all well and good to say that the more you play for others the easier it gets, but I don't have many opportunities, and I keep flubbing the ones I do get...So I am turning to my buddies here for some serious advice because I really long to play for and with other folks --- but it just isn't working.

Suggestions?
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#2117593 - 07/14/13 04:44 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1197
Loc: London UK
"By the end of the day"? Goodness! - how LONG were you playing for? How were the first few pieces you played? Stamina comes with experience.

It's not necessary to remind you that the audience thought you were just fine, is it? :-)

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#2117595 - 07/14/13 04:54 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Exalted Wombat]
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5026
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: Exalted Wombat
"By the end of the day"? Goodness! - how LONG were you playing for? How were the first few pieces you played? Stamina comes with experience.

It's not necessary to remind you that the audience thought you were just fine, is it? :-)


Well, thank you but .....seriously, I'm sure the audience was well aware I was not fine! smile


The audience was very kind. You couldn't ask for better - but
my husband, who had been listening to it all come together really well all last week, couldn't believe what a hash I made of my stuff.(Though he didn't say a word until I started talking about it).


I personally wasn't playing all day - we were taking turns. I played 4 very short solo pieces. The first was "ok" the second had flubs, the third was note-right but without any of the expression I'd been able to put into it the day before, and the forth was a train wreck.

Anyway I don't really want to whine about it (well, yes, I do, but I won't) ..... I am looking for serious advice on what folks do when their minds go completely blank, when it just doesn't work....
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#2117601 - 07/14/13 05:13 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Saranoya Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 620
Loc: Brussels, Belgium
Exalted Wombat, I can't believe I'm going to write what I'm about to write and address it to you, of all people. There's a major case of role reversal going on here.

But: it can't be denied that some people managed to play *much* better during the EPP than others. I messed up each and every one of the pieces I attempted, even though I'd played most of them in front of groups before (and usually better than I played them yesterday at the EPP). This is despite the fact that I had the advantage of getting to play on the same piano I play every day.

I know there are some kind souls out there who would be willing to tell me that I did just fine. But if they did that, we'd both know it was at least a partial white lie. And I think the same is true for casinitaly: what she did here during the EPP wasn't bad by any means, but we were all aware, as is she, that she can do better under different circumstances.

The question is: how do you translate what you can do under ideal circumstances to the more challenging situations? And unfortunately, as demonstrated rather decisively yesterday, I don't have a good answer to that question.

The best I can come up with is to play the same two or three pieces ten or twenty times a day, every day, for at least a week before any kind of public performance. Play them at half-speed, play them at actual performance speed, play them at double speed. Play them with the music, without it, with your eyes closed, with your gaze fixed on your hands, or while staring out the window. Play them with and without the metronome ticking in the background. Play them as many ways as you can think of, until you can play them without having to think at all.

That has seemed to work (mostly) for the three live recitals I did at my teacher's behest this year. But it didn't work for the EPP, because I had just come from an eleven-day scouting trip during which I hadn't played at all.

Oh, well. Better next time.
_________________________
Beginner with some priors since 9/2012

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#2117602 - 07/14/13 05:15 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Sweet06 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/13
Posts: 408
cas!! we have the same problem!! i play in front of my roomate (he doesn't have a choice and he's a long time buddy) but whenever i go to lessons, i EASILY do way worse than when im solo at home. i thoroughly believe we just need to play in front of people we aren't "comfortable" with but thats just it, i don't know how to accomplish that! haha

For example: i sat in my last lesson and my teachers like no thats the wrong note (he never tells me what note he always makes me figure it out lol) and i can read music fine.. and i just starred at it blankly, each second getting annoyed with myself that such a simple question felt like he was asking me to move the earth, shesh.

its really cool to see all the different achievements everyone here has. dedicated individuals!
_________________________
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"The joy is in the practicing. It's like relationships. Yeah, orgasms are awesome, but you can't make love to someone who you have no relationship with!"

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#2117611 - 07/14/13 05:33 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2093
Loc: Rocky Mountains
To get used to playing for people. Might try playing at retirement homes?

Don't worry about it Cas....you're normal. That's all.
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2117615 - 07/14/13 05:40 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
FarmGirl Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 1990
Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
I wrote my little advice in the EPP thread. I always make mistakes. In fact never played without. However I do have experience of euphoric performances where I knew I played my my heart out. I was completely in the music with the music and with the moment. When it happens you know it and more importantly, your audience knows it. You get an applause and you know it in their face. Human faces are so dead honest. Some of them actually approaches you and tell you that they are moved and made them cry. To me that's the best feeling you can get in the whole world. In that moment my a few mistakes do not seem matter. I could have taken a moment before the attack there, touched the right note but the sound did not come out etc etc etc. Trying to play accurately is important when practice, but when perform it's more important to focus on the music you are making. In a way you need to get used to let go each mistake and focus on the next note and play the music the way you want. Do not stop. Do not dwell on it just focus on the beautiful place you want to show to your audience. This is something I tell myself all the time too.
_________________________
Solo - Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, Schubert Sonata D960 Andante sostenute (9/7/14), Bach f minor Fugue WTC Bk1, Rachmaninoff Elegie Op 3 #1, Chopin Trois Nouvelles Etudes #1



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#2117619 - 07/14/13 05:43 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Sand Tiger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1050
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: casinitaly
... I played 4 very short solo pieces. The first was "ok" the second had flubs, the third was note-right but without any of the expression I'd been able to put into it the day before, and the forth was a train wreck.

Anyway I don't really want to whine about it (well, yes, I do, but I won't) ..... I am looking for serious advice on what folks do when their minds go completely blank, when it just doesn't work....



Hi Cas, what you describe is high average. Unless a person has ice in their veins, your performance is pretty good. So well done. Advice? Lower your standards and your performance will rise. To expect an amateur that doesn't perform often to get near their best on performance day, is expecting too much.

You did fine. You are being overly critical of yourself. You rehearsed, you remembered most of your pieces, you got to the end of all of them it seems. Just getting to the end counts as an achievement for an amateur.

You (and others) have read my many reports about performing live. I do it all the time, and tend to be much more outgoing than the average person. Still, my mind still goes blank at times. I still have train wrecks. Maybe 10% of the time do I feel like I am near my potential. If I can get a performance note perfect, or with minor flubs, I count that as a success. So by my count you had three successes and one train wreck (which you likely still got to the end), which is pretty good after a very long day with travel, performing for virtual strangers, in a strange setting, on an unfamiliar piano.

I've mentioned using crib sheets with just the first couple of bars written out in short hand. If I can get the first few notes out, the muscle memory often kicks in, so even if the mind is blank the hands remember what to play. Personally, I find sheet music to be near useless when under pressure, but others may find it to be useful.

As an aside, it isn't as scary on piano vs. flute. On flute, nerves can mean that no sound comes out! The more a person strains for an embouchure, the more tension, the less chance of any sound. There have been times that I had to apologize and put down the flute and go to whistle, because there was little chance of flute music that day.

/edit to add: Congratulations to The Hound on passing the grade 8 exam. That is quite the achievement.


Edited by Sand Tiger (07/14/13 05:45 PM)
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#2117625 - 07/14/13 05:54 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Sand Tiger]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2093
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Originally Posted By: Sand Tiger

/edit to add: Congratulations to The Hound on passing the grade 8 exam. That is quite the achievement.


Yup....I ignorantly forgot that too. The guy deserves recognition. Congrats to da Hound.
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2117629 - 07/14/13 06:05 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
FarmGirl Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 1990
Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Cheryl one more thing before I forget. The symptoms of not being able to associate score to notes are very common. First people learn the music with the score, memorize it by associating the note to the keys at first, then pretty soon people start associating the sound to the keys. If you do not do occasional slow practice to confirm the notes to the sounds to the keys, you will completely lose the link between the notes and keys. You think you memorized but your memory is fragile. Since its solely based on the sound, any strange sound (wrong note / different piano / out if tune etc) will easily throw you off. Have you heard of performers do extra slow practice a day before the performance. That's what they are doing. To verify the connection of notes, keys and sound. Ok I will shut up now. Please don't take me wrong. I usually refrain from advising others because I'm nobody. Just I like you guys too much to hold it in.
_________________________
Solo - Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, Schubert Sonata D960 Andante sostenute (9/7/14), Bach f minor Fugue WTC Bk1, Rachmaninoff Elegie Op 3 #1, Chopin Trois Nouvelles Etudes #1



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#2117638 - 07/14/13 06:24 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Sweet06 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/13
Posts: 408
farmgirl i think i understand what you are trying to convey. to confirm, when i play extra slow and say aloud the note name as i play it, is that what you are talking about?
_________________________
"Doesn't practicing on the piano suck?!?!"
"The joy is in the practicing. It's like relationships. Yeah, orgasms are awesome, but you can't make love to someone who you have no relationship with!"

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#2117655 - 07/14/13 07:10 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
earlofmar Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1587
Loc: Australia
all this talk of performance anxiety one should remember that performing anything in public, be it a speech, a joke, or a piano recital is a skill some of us will be able to work on but perhaps for some it will never come.

A good example that springs to my mind is Anthony Phillips which if you have heard of him I would be surprised, although he does have an extensive back catalogue. Anthony was one of the founding members of the rock group Genesis, the band at one point were probably the biggest in the world and earned gazillions. After the first two albums Anthony developed such stage fright he became physically ill and was forced to leave the group missing out on all the success. The good news was he found a niche, he could record brilliant works and people would buy his albums but he never toured.

Like Casinintaly I have very few people to play to and I totally fall to pieces if I have to show my work. Therefore when I record for a recital or the piano bar it takes multiple attempts before I can capture one that I think is good enough. As an idea perhaps we could have a separate monthly thread similar to the piano bar, could be called "First Take" where we attempt to perform our pieces in only the first recording forcing us to play through mistakes or pauses.
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#2117660 - 07/14/13 07:26 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: earlofmar]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2093
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Originally Posted By: earlofmar
As an idea perhaps we could have a separate monthly thread similar to the piano bar, could be called "First Take" where we attempt to perform our pieces in only the first recording forcing us to play through mistakes or pauses.


Would it work to have live online performances? Say at a set time. People can play. Skype? Call it the Saturday Night Piano Bar Live. Put yourself down on the thread for a time. It's reserved.
Or would that help?
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2117669 - 07/14/13 07:46 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: earlofmar]
Sand Tiger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1050
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: earlofmar
all this talk of performance anxiety one should remember that performing anything in public, be it a speech, a joke, or a piano recital is a skill some of us will be able to work on but perhaps for some it will never come.
...

Like Casinintaly I have very few people to play to and I totally fall to pieces if I have to show my work. Therefore when I record for a recital or the piano bar it takes multiple attempts before I can capture one that I think is good enough.
...


EarlofMar, again, what you describe is average. It is the exceptional musician that can record well on one take. No recording artist does it that way any more. There are few amateurs and almost no beginners in that group. If you want to record your first take and upload it to the piano bar, some folks do that, so go right ahead.

Just to be clear, Casinitaly did not fall apart. She did very well for an amateur with limited performance experience. I know about falling apart on stage, and what she described I see as a good performance, not a bad one.

For my recital pieces, a dozen takes is average, usually over the course of several days. Sometimes the end result is still rough. Others describe similar. All of this is part of the beginner journey. Beginners tend to sound like beginners. There are enough exceptional folks on this forum, it sometimes makes the average folks feel inferior.

One reason recording advances us as musicians, is because we are aiming higher. That's the entire point of polishing to performance level. The red-dot adds stress. The end result, usually after many takes, hopefully is close to our best. Obviously, my best or your best will pale in comparison to the best from a pianist with more skill.

A small percentage of people can never overcome their stage fright. They have terrible symptoms and every trick in the book is not enough to get them to performance level. It might be 5% to 10% of musicians. Casinitaly is clearly not in that troubled group or she would have never made the trip, and never made it through one piece much less four.


Edited by Sand Tiger (07/14/13 07:54 PM)
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#2117716 - 07/14/13 08:49 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
PaperClip Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/09
Posts: 522
Loc: Amsterdam, Holland
Hi cas, I thought you did pretty well though. I enjoyed your music at the party. Everybody made errors.

When playing for others, most people get adrenaline in their body. Muscles get more tensed. The piece is played at a much higher pace. The higher pace and the tension in the hands and fingers results often in mistakes.

So I think if you play at 20% lower speed in public, you might actually play at your normal speed.

Also when performing in public, some part of the brain is busy with other things than playing piano. Let's say, the brain is performing at 80%. And when it's get difficult, the brain can switch to old habits or old solutions and so switching back to and old, not so good play. As if it chooses the most old rememberings. So it could be that the achievement of the last two weeks of practise before performing, is totally vanished at stage.

What helps for me to concentrate better is to count when playing.

Saranoya, I beg to differ. You did an outstanding performance under those circumstances. You were tensed, your fingers were shaking. They didn't move like you wanted to, but somehow you manage to hit the right notes though. When I watched your play, I asked myself, how is that possible, if my fingers would shake like that, I would never hit any right note.


The Hound, congrats for your grade 8 exam. That's pretty good!
_________________________
Chris

Playing since May 02 2009

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#2117782 - 07/14/13 10:34 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Sand Tiger]
malkin Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2543
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted By: Sand Tiger

...As an aside, it isn't as scary on piano vs. flute. On flute, nerves can mean that no sound comes out! The more a person strains for an embouchure, the more tension, the less chance of any sound...


This is why I stopped playing flute. I don't remember strained embouchure though. For me it was 1) surprise vibrato caused by my heart pounding 2) dry mouth with my tongue stuck so articulation became impossible and finally 3) inability to breathe properly limiting sound production, and eventually consciousness.

It just wasn't meant to be!

cas--at least you didn't pass out!!
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#2117802 - 07/14/13 10:52 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: The Hound]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
Originally Posted By: The Hound
Got back on Friday, with the results waiting on the doormat. Opened them with trepidation, wife standing next to me and... Distinction! Only just - I got 87/100, which is the lowest mark needed, but a Distinction it nonetheless is! I know I could have gotten somewhere in the 90s, but I am still pleased as punch to have made it into the top bracket.

Next up: diplomas!

Excellent! Congratulations on your Distinction!

From here on we will expect you to make very distinguished posts. ha
_________________________
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#2117854 - 07/15/13 02:44 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5026
Loc: Italy
The Hound: sorry I missed your VERY impressive AOTW !! Congratulations on such a splendid success!!!
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#2117857 - 07/15/13 03:09 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5026
Loc: Italy
Saranoya: Thanks for the plain speaking. And thanks for the confirmation that you know I can do better. It is hard to hold on to that thought when I feel so rattled.
and thanks for your suggestions - I'll give them a try.

Sweet06, yes I've been through the phase where I was nervous playing for my teacher, but I'm over that. I didn't expect to have these probmlems at the party.

rmaple: Playing at retirement homes is a nice idea but in my little town that's not really an option. Thanks for the "normal" rating smile
The Saturday night Live idea is fun - of course time zones make it tricky. I generally don't play the acoustic after 8pm and that's only 2 in the afternoon for folks on the east coast of North America. There might be chances with some fellow European ABFers...


FarmGirl, I read your advice here and the in the other thread, and in the PM you sent. Thanks very very much. These are all good ideas (well, except for the alcohol, I really don't think that will help me smile ) I'll give them a try!
In particular your info on the disconnect between the brain, eyes and fingers is very very useful. Please don't think you're "nobody" - you have a lot more experience than many of us and you can give us some great feedback and insights! Don't hold it in! We really like you too!! smile


SandTiger: While your advice on having realistic expectations is sound the idea of "lowering my standards" is painful to me. During the party, for the first 3 pieces I was orginially content with getting to the end, (I won't even talk about the 4th)...but later it hit me that even those 3 were such pale versions of what I was doing at home, it was very lowering.
What is important to me from your post is a very kind "reality check". I guess I should mention that I did actually feel pretty good about taking the plunge on playing duets with PatH. He was amazing - sight-reading the teacher's part - and I was able to play along though I hadn't played those pieces for over a year, I just read them. I felt they were a modest success.

EarlofMar - I have in fact done a lot of public speaking - and I know that skill takes practice too - I'm actually pretty good at it. At the beginning I needed a lot of notes, "clues" - word markers etc to get me through, now I'm much better at extemporising. I'm not shy, and I really do enjoy a few moments here and there being the centre of attention. I didn't even feel particularly nervous when I started out. (SwissMS played before lunch, but I took the first turn after lunch as I figured (rightly) I was not the youngest player, but the most junior performer smile )

PaperClip, thanks very much smile. Your suggestion of slowing down is a good one...the adreneline does make us want to try to "fly higher and faster" --- and for the unseasoned performer that's a recipe for disaster.


OK..... I want to thank all of you who took the time to share and offer some words of wisdom, comfort and support - I won't say "you don't know how much it means to me" --- because frankly, I am certain you know exactly how much it means!!!
What a wonderful, wonderful group this is.
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#2117859 - 07/15/13 03:33 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Allard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 339
Loc: Netherlands
Cheryl, Saranoya, I am pretty sure I've heard everyone except patH make mistakes at the party. Don't focus too much on your own! I've had numerous restarts as well as "oops wrong chord, hope nobody noticed"-moments. I am delighted that people enjoyed those performances nonetheless. I was only nervous while playing the first piece, yet still messed up during the rest. Just smile and keep playing smile
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#2117908 - 07/15/13 07:06 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Allard]
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5026
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: Allard
Cheryl, Saranoya, I am pretty sure I've heard everyone except patH make mistakes at the party. Don't focus too much on your own! I've had numerous restarts as well as "oops wrong chord, hope nobody noticed"-moments. I am delighted that people enjoyed those performances nonetheless. I was only nervous while playing the first piece, yet still messed up during the rest. Just smile and keep playing smile


Kind and encouraging words David Allard. wink Thanks very much.
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#2117929 - 07/15/13 08:29 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
The Hound Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/11
Posts: 124
Thank you all for the congratulations. It's a great feeling to have it under my belt. cool

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#2117947 - 07/15/13 09:55 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Sand Tiger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1050
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: casinitaly

SandTiger: While your advice on having realistic expectations is sound the idea of "lowering my standards" is painful to me. During the party, for the first 3 pieces I was orginially content with getting to the end, (I won't even talk about the 4th)...but later it hit me that even those 3 were such pale versions of what I was doing at home, it was very lowering.
What is important to me from your post is a very kind "reality check". I guess I should mention that I did actually feel pretty good about taking the plunge on playing duets with PatH. He was amazing - sight-reading the teacher's part - and I was able to play along though I hadn't played those pieces for over a year, I just read them. I felt they were a modest success.
...

What a wonderful, wonderful group this is.



CasinItaly, I have the perspective of my music group. Many of the participants are life-long musicians that can know some of the songs backwards and forwards, and can play in their sleep. Still, sometimes they forget, sometimes they stumble, and they have no nerves.

So now take a beginner, that rarely performs in public, put them on an unfamiliar instrument, and anyone can see that expecting the best is unrealistic. It similar to what EarlofMar is writing about, someone that has never recorded, expecting to knock out their best effort on the first take and thinking that others are doing so. It could happen, but it would be truly exceptional if it did happen.

Like I said, I feel like I have done near my best about 10% of the time. I have less nerves than most. I perform on a fairly regular basis and still 90% of the time I don't think I hit the mark, if the mark is my best.

The upside, is that there are rare moments of magic that make it all worth while. There are times, a person can hear a pin drop, the audience is so enthralled by the music. Of course, there are other times, when people are chatting, shuffling their papers, checking their phones, or worse: walking out.

The special moments, I see as the height of being a musician. Even an amateur like myself, has had those moments, when time stands still, when I have connected with the audience. The 90% or more of the time when it doesn't happen, is part of the price of climbing the mountain.

I have in the past, mentioned some other memorization techniques. Playing the piece with eyes closed, with the sound off, away from the instrument. Ideally, I want to be able to play a performance piece, without sight, without sound, without touch. I don't always get to ideal. The other caveat is that many pieces are too difficult to eliminate 100% of the senses.
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#2117963 - 07/15/13 10:56 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1197
Loc: London UK
Originally Posted By: casinitaly
SandTiger: While your advice on having realistic expectations is sound the idea of "lowering my standards" is painful to me. During the party, for the first 3 pieces I was orginially content with getting to the end, (I won't even talk about the 4th)...but later it hit me that even those 3 were such pale versions of what I was doing at home, it was very lowering.


One day, probably soon, you will have the experience of a performance just going "right" - your playing, to that audience, in that situation will transcend anything that could possibly have happened in a solitary rehearsal room. And that's why we do it. Isn't it?

(And the next day you'll play even better, but the stars will not align :-)

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#2118138 - 07/15/13 06:06 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
JimF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 1718
Loc: south florida
cheryl,

You've had enough folks tell you not to beat yourself up, so I won't.

But......

You just went to another country, to play if front of a group you'd never met in person, and you played not one, but FOUR pieces, on a strange piano, in a room you'd never been in before.......

I have just one question........

How many times have you tried that before?


(ps. I'll bet you'll do it better the second time at EPP-14)
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#2118142 - 07/15/13 06:18 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Exalted Wombat]
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5026
Loc: Italy
lol... Giacomo..ok, you've got me there. (of course I could say that except for Sara, everyone else was in the same boat...but I won't smile )

I'm not beating myself up any more. I did the self torture routine pretty intensely for a while, but in the end I just don't have enough energy to keep that up--- and beside, when you get such great suggestions and encouragement and reality checks from people who really get what you are talking about ...well, it helps tremendously.

Originally Posted By: Exalted Wombat
One day, probably soon, you will have the experience of a performance just going "right" - your playing, to that audience, in that situation will transcend anything that could possibly have happened in a solitary rehearsal room. And that's why we do it. Isn't it?

(And the next day you'll play even better, but the stars will not align :-)


When the moon, is in the seventh house... and Jupiter aligns with Mars.... lol....

Thanks for the encouragement. I'm well on the road to recovery.

I played quite a bit today and made a date to have a friend over and play for her next week. I may even get someone in before that too.

I've also really been thinking about all the advice I've received and I want to come back to what Sand Tiger said about lowering expectations. ..... What strikes me is that yes, you're right ST. I'm in the group of people who can perform in front of others - maybe not as well as I would like, but I've done better in the past, and God willing, I will do even better in the future! I'm not afraid to play, to try, and I always set the bar very high for myself - and I think it is ok to have high expectations.....but here's the key... they also have to be measured, realistic, and the simple fact of the matter is that I don't have enough experience to be realistic about my immediate expectations. (or rather... I didn't. - - Now I think I do).. So in the short term - smaller bites, smaller steps, focus on the satisfaction therein and set the bar higher for farther down the road, not today or tomorrow.

So, I feel I'm ending the day basking in the glow of friendship and kindness that has been extended to me from - literally! - around the world.

Thanks a million to my AOTW buddies!!!!
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#2118162 - 07/15/13 06:49 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2093
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Originally Posted By: casinitaly
... made a date to have a friend over and play for her next week. I may even get someone in before that too....


I get an image of you grabbing everyone you can just to play for them... smile
"It's no longer safe to walk down the road by that lady's house. Strange things happen there. People disappear. Then reappear hours later full of milk and cookies." smile

Seriously.....on the Saturday Night Live... I thought it would work if there isn't a restricting time. Just use the weekend. Say....on (eastern) time at 6am Sat to 6am Sunday. Could play at anytime. Just reserve a time. This would cover Saturday night for most everybody...at one time or another. Could even get "Piano World" to have a box on the side that lists who is on or not open right now. Kinda like a moving web cam. Besides....we could watch FarmGirl's dogs wash the dishes. smile
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Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2118376 - 07/16/13 03:22 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: rnaple]
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5026
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: rnaple
Originally Posted By: casinitaly
... made a date to have a friend over and play for her next week. I may even get someone in before that too....


I get an image of you grabbing everyone you can just to play for them... smile
"It's no longer safe to walk down the road by that lady's house. Strange things happen there. People disappear. Then reappear hours later full of milk and cookies." smile

Seriously.....on the Saturday Night Live... I thought it would work if there isn't a restricting time. Just use the weekend. Say....on (eastern) time at 6am Sat to 6am Sunday. Could play at anytime. Just reserve a time. This would cover Saturday night for most everybody...at one time or another. Could even get "Piano World" to have a box on the side that lists who is on or not open right now. Kinda like a moving web cam. Besides....we could watch FarmGirl's dogs wash the dishes. smile


That could work - I don't know about the technical aspects of having it show up as to who is on line, but we could create a weekly thread ie: July 20 - Saturday night live 6am EST + 24 hours and see who connects....I'd suggest sharing Skype addresses via PM rather than in the forum, but it could be well worth a try!
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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