Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#1884495 - 04/22/12 07:15 PM pre-recital nerves? your pre-performance ritual?
Rollin shoulders Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/16/11
Posts: 51
Loc: WNY

Figured this might be a good conversation post -

I had a recital earlier today, and couldn't help but feeling nervous. This is usually how it is when I play in front of people, and when the performance is over I feel like I overcame an obstacle.

Prior to playing, I was moving my hands and fingers furiously- partially to get them warmed up to moving and partially because I was really nervous ha.

Question is, what do YOU do before a performance to shake off nervousness? Or any type of unique "ritual" before a performance that has helped you over come nervousness?

(stories are interesting!.. just saying ha)
_________________________
1940's Wurlitzer Spinet
Casio CDP-100 with MacBook Pro for VST's
_____________________________
A.S in Music and Science '13
Music Certificate '13

Top
Piano & Music Accessories
#1885066 - 04/23/12 02:29 PM Re: pre-recital nerves? your pre-performance ritual? [Re: Rollin shoulders]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19664
Loc: New York
It might be good to re-post this on "Pianist Corner". That's where people usually post things like this, and in fact, for whatever reason this section of the site isn't viewed that much at all.


The main things that I do:

-- Make sure I'm as well-prepared as possible (of course by the time of the recital it's too late for that) ha

-- Make sure to have had "tryouts" in front of people in advance (oops, too late for that too) grin

-- When the time of the performance comes, main thing I do is remind myself that this is something I love doing and that I want to do, and to appreciate and enjoy it. smile

Top
#1937254 - 08/04/12 10:34 AM Re: pre-recital nerves? your pre-performance ritual? [Re: Rollin shoulders]
HorseMom Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/14/12
Posts: 51
Loc: Santa Fe, New Mexico
My pre-recital ritual begins about a month in advance. I start inviting neighbors over, dragging in people off the street, also hosting small little cocktail parties, and make people listen to a few of my recital pieces. I lighten it up by telling them "the more you drink, the better I sound." This way, after I've played something for someone other than just my teacher, a few dozen times, I don't have too many performance worries at concert time. No longer being at the university and no longer playing in regular master classes, I need this exposure and help. I also have a really good friend (my horse trainer actually) whose grandma loves to host parties and she has a spectacular Steinway at the ranch house. This gives me additional opportunities to play to an audience. She invites so many friends that by the time concert day comes around, the turnout in the performance hall seems rather unimpressive in comparison - ok, whatever, no problem.

My main worries then are if the piano I have to play on has 'features' I haven't fully explored. But I try to be a thorn in the side of the auditorium management in terms of getting access at LEAST once for a couple of hours so I can test out the instrument and drag some knowledgable person along with me to give me feedback on the acoustics of the hall - have them walk around and listen to different pieces from different places. Maybe the Bach has to be a little slower because the room is too live and everything is mudded together even though your feet are tied to the bench and nowhere near the pedals. Maybe I need more pedal on something, or cleaner articulation on something else. Another pair of ears is really helpful, especially given that it's a strange piano. And every room is different.

Oh - and when you bring someone in your home and play to them - do it when you have NOT warmed up and haven't been at your piano for several hours. Like, as you're walking in the door when you get home from work. If you can get through your piece that way, you can certainly do it on recital day when you've been doing scales and have played the piece a couple of times already. Everyone I've used as a victim has been really understanding about mistakes and if you tell them in advance that you're trying to find the places where you have problems under pressure (for me it's memory, seldom anything to do with technique), you won't stress about errors and will know that every problem you encounter is actually helping to perfect your piece for 'next time' (tomorrow - next victim, LOL!). Pre-recital ritual and planning starts long before recital day!

Stories. Hmmm. Well when I was in college I played the Chopin op 66 on a studio recital and I was SO nervous that I don't remember ANYTHING after walking onto the stage until I was safely backstage again. My professor said he was standing in the wings across from me, trying to get my attention, mouthing "SLOW DOWN!!!!" over and over again, because I was playing it so fast he was sure I was going to crash and burn. I didn't. It was perfectly clean and terrifyingly fast on the recording. I can't believe I actually played that. Clearly I was on auto-pilot and it was all coming from the careful memorization building and technical practice. It was a little bit dry - not the kind of passion/nuance that you'd like to hear in Chopin, other than what we built in as part of the memorization process - but I survived and so did Chopin. Other story - a 9' Steinway I played on for a concert last January, beautiful piano, suddenly a few minutes before the performance just as I was getting ready to quit warmup before the audience started to trickle in, the pedals suddenly came loose. Apparently there was a crack in the wood at the top of the attachment. My technician was there and I told him, "look, this is fine for the Bach but I can't work this way for Chopin and Granados!" He found some books backstage and crammed a stack of them under the lyre to hold it still. Worked fine (albeit a little unsightly), we just had to remember to remove them before pushing the piano back into its corner afterward!
_________________________
Heels down!

Top
#1937315 - 08/04/12 01:29 PM Re: pre-recital nerves? your pre-performance ritual? [Re: Rollin shoulders]
Sand Tiger Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 993
Loc: Southern California
I have a pre-performance routine. Obviously, practice helps. I like to memorize several ways: play normally, play from memory, play with eyes closed, play with the sound off, do earworming so I can mentally play the set in my head.

Mental walk throughs away from the instrument are part of my lead up. If I am going to do any talking, I rehearse that as well. For many pieces, I will also practice starting in the middle at set points, just in case there are interruptions or I falter.

Proper exercise and diet, are all important parts of the puzzle. A packing list, a set list, arriving early are part of the routine. The set list has the key of each piece and the first few bars. Nerves can make my mind go blank.

Just before playing, The Musicians Way blog and book has four steps: center, connect, contact, play. Center with a deep breath, connect with the piece in your mind, contact with other musicians or the audience, then go. The lead sheet is there if nerves feel overwhelming and I can't even remember the first sequence or the name of the piece. The book also talks about having performance circle groups, so that performing happens more often and becomes near routine instead of a big deal if a person only does it a few times a year.

For impromptu performances, it is good to have a few easy and well known pieces that a person can nearly play in their sleep. These might include some of the early tunes a person learned. I will often close practice with some of these, so can do them when tired.
_________________________
my piano uploads

Top
#1943593 - 08/16/12 06:52 AM Re: pre-recital nerves? your pre-performance ritual? [Re: Rollin shoulders]
ruvido Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/23/12
Posts: 15
Loc: California
One thing I do in the weeks leading to a performance is to emulate as much as possible, the performance atmosphere. Hence, every time I begin a practice session, I sit down, turn on a recording(puts me on edge), and perform the first piece of the program.

I rarely ever warm up my fingers before practice due to the fact that I most likely wont have that luxury when performing. If anything, I stretch and loosen up my fingers, hands, arm, elbows, and shoulders.

Right before going on stage I try to avoid looking at the score or heavily overthinking things. Hence, I tend to do some math problems, do word searches, or play a game or two on my phone. Then once it's time to go, I take a deep breath or two, and go out there.


Edited by ruvido (08/16/12 06:53 AM)
_________________________
Practice makes (not quite) perfect.

http://www.youtue.com/user/ruvidoetostinato
http://www.soundcloud.com/ruvidoetostinato

Top
#1949628 - 08/27/12 12:33 AM Re: pre-recital nerves? your pre-performance ritual? [Re: Rollin shoulders]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5286
Loc: Philadelphia
I won't cover all the prepping for performance night, since I don't think that's what you're asking, but a lot goes into that--more so than the actual performance night.

On performance night, I do a few things every time:

1. Picture a warm, receptive, attentive audience.
2. Picture myself entertaining that audience to perfection, ie picturing the "best performance I've ever given."
3. Try to laugh at least once.. about anything.

This gets my mind in the right place to go onstage.

4. I go to the bathroom and do three things:
4a. Go to the bathroom
4b. Run my hands under warm/hot water
4c. Shake out my hands, move my fingers, tap on the counter a bit, then repeat 4b

If I have access to a piano offstage, I'll certainly warm up a bit, but if not, this gets my body/hands ready to perform.

5. Take a deep breath and take the stage..
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

Top
#1950422 - 08/28/12 02:02 PM Re: pre-recital nerves? your pre-performance ritual? [Re: Rollin shoulders]
MylesB Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/28/12
Posts: 14
Loc: Madison Wi
Cool topic. Never seen this side of piano. I'm sure it's the same for many sports but interesting what we can try. I find that when i don't block everything out i have problems. I'm all smiles w this topic.


Edited by MylesB (08/28/12 02:09 PM)

Top

Moderator:  Piano World 
What's Hot!!
Our latest Issue is available now...
Piano News - Interesting & Fun Piano Related Newsletter! (free)
-------------------
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
76 registered (Allard, Art_Vandelay, ando, barbaram, 23 invisible), 1178 Guests and 14 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
75588 Members
42 Forums
156299 Topics
2295454 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Happy Birthday earlofmar !!!!
by CarlosCC
07/31/14 04:49 AM
Tight Key ??
by moy71
07/31/14 01:15 AM
Learning progress
by sunnyday
07/31/14 01:10 AM
How old is a Ahlborn-Galanti Digital Pipe Organ Chronicler
by Chopinlover49
07/30/14 10:55 PM
1906 Steinway K52 purchase for recording studio?
by nlive
07/30/14 10:44 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission