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#2049611 - 03/17/13 11:07 AM Live Recitals - Why do I subject myself to this torture?
Sam S Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/07
Posts: 1412
Loc: Georgia, USA
Last Friday was my teacher's studio recital: In a church, nice grand piano, me and 10 children aged from 8 to 18.

All the kids are great players, regardless of age. They play from memory, and rarely make any technical errors. They even play expressively and musically. Amazing really.

Then there is me. The only adult. I go first, to separate me from the kids, who play from youngest to oldest. This places the focus of the recital on the children, which is where it should be, but having the 59 year-old guy go first is a little stressful.

It didn't go well. My Schumann Arabeske was full of errors. My Mendelssohn 38/6 had an huge error right at the climax of the piece.

Looking back over my short career as an adult restarter, I have played in 7 recitals. Of those, I gave an "acceptable" performance at 3 of them. The other 4 ranged from near disasters to just plain bad.

I don't know what I can do to improve my average. Playing in more recitals doesn't seem to help. I feel like I am prepared as much as I can be. The night before this latest recital, I played both pieces as well as I ever had for my teacher.

It is disappointing, so much so that I am thinking of not participating in any more live studio recitals. There is another one in May, where we will be playing pop music - I am not looking forward to it.

I have often thought that a better alternative would be to have an all-adult recital, but my teacher only has one other adult student, and she (wisely?) refuses to play in any recitals. I think that I will ask my teacher if she knows any other teachers with adult students and if they woud be interested in a combined recital.

Of course, even that will probably not help my performances - it may make them worse!

Anyway, thanks for listening to me complain!

Sam

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#2049628 - 03/17/13 11:58 AM Re: Live Recitals - Why do I subject myself to this torture? [Re: Sam S]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2073
Loc: Rocky Mountains
I feel for ya, Sam.
That's not a great situation. Worrying about all those kids. Taking it for granted their contentious minds. Not good.

I'm fortunate. I have a great teacher over Skype. No recitals.

I ran across a website suggested from this forum. It's called "fossils". It's dedicated to adults learning piano. Is good. Discusses many things we encounter.

Personally....I wouldn't want to do a "recital" unless it was something I really loved and wanted to openly share it.
_________________________
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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#2049645 - 03/17/13 12:31 PM Re: Live Recitals - Why do I subject myself to this torture? [Re: Sam S]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19280
Loc: New York City
Were some/most of the problems memory slips or perhaps caused by fear of memory slips?

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#2049647 - 03/17/13 12:35 PM Re: Live Recitals - Why do I subject myself to this torture? [Re: Sam S]
jotur Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5509
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
I play a lot of gigs. 4x a month for seniors, maybe 7 or 8 times a year with the band. I don't think I'd do recitals.

For me, music is community music, something to share. Something where the audience is on a par with the musician. It doesn't feel like a "performance". I think there are people who approach recitals that way. I'm not one of them laugh The word "recital" invokes feelings of a teacher showing off her students. I know that parents want to see their children play, and I think that's legitimate. But it doesn't feel like sharing music to me.

The closest I come to a "recital" is a music marathon where there are numerous musicians, mostly piano players, in an afternoon-to-evening recital (if you will) that's a benefit for scholarships at a branch of a college. The audience comes and goes as they please. That still feels close enough to being community music to me that I like playing it.

How did you feel about playing at your musicians/neighbors party? That would be more like my kind of music event. Live music as part of the community. The Denver piano parties are like that, and it sounds like the Arizona one was. The on-line ABF recitals have that feel, rather than a "recital" in the formal sense of the word.

It may be that you're simply in a place in your life where sharing your music, which I think you like to do since you also play with Laurie, plays a different function for you than a recital does. Maybe for you sharing your music is no longer about showing people what you can do, and more about everyone in the room being there for participation, even if they don't play smile

Just a thought. But it's the way I play.

I'm off to the Alzheimers unit in a couple of hours, as matter of fact. The music is a highlight of their day. And I get to play smile

Cathy
_________________________

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#2049654 - 03/17/13 12:44 PM Re: Live Recitals - Why do I subject myself to this torture? [Re: Sam S]
Piano Again Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 1162
Loc: Washington metro
Seven recitals isn't very many. Don't be so hard on yourself. You have a 40% success rate!

Also, why not just use the music? Memorize, yes, but then try going back and forth between playing with the score and playing without -- you will see where the weak spots are, and probably why they are weak. There are a million ways to practice and work on this. You may find over time that it gets better.

I am in a group aimed at giving adults opportunities to perform,* and almost all of the people use the music when they play. There's nothing wrong with doing so, though I know how it is -- I, too, wish I could play comfortably from memory. I can do it if I put my mind to it, but it doesn't feel natural (on the piano, at least).

Sometimes I feel happy about how I've played and then listen to the recording and feel very frustrated at how it sounded.

But you know, if it was TOO easy, what would be fun about it?

*The Adult Music Student Forum, which was started years ago by the "fossils" guy rnaple mentioned just above -- who also happens to be my teacher right now.
_________________________
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#2049659 - 03/17/13 12:58 PM Re: Live Recitals - Why do I subject myself to this torture? [Re: Sam S]
Saranoya Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 616
Loc: Brussels, Belgium
The in-class recitals we do with my teacher are adult students only. You're right, it doesn't help the nervousness much, but at least everyone else is just as nervous and hyper-aware as you are! So I think it's a good idea to try to find a teacher who might be interested in a shared recital with their adult students.

Or you could just find other ways to share your music. As long as you enjoy playing the piano just for the sake of it, I don't think you *have* to do recitals. It's not as if you are a conservatory-bound fifteen-year-old. You pave your own way. Decide for yourself what you do and don't want to do. And when something no longer seems worth your time, just stop doing it.

Last week, my teacher offered me the option of pulling out of the upcoming class recital, planned for March 29. I've been going through a rough patch on multiple fronts lately, and she said "there are others with good reasons who chose not to do this recital." I plan on telling her I will be doing the recital anyway. There are always a hundred good reasons not to do it. But for me, there is one reason to do it that trumps all the rest: I started taking lessons specifically because I wanted to get over my stage freight. If I now start pulling out of performance moments every time the opportunity to do so presents itself, I will be undermining my own goal.

So for me, participation, in and of itself, is enough of a goal. I don't really care how well I do, although in reality, I am of course hoping it will be wonderful. But I think you must have something similar: a core motivation to either do it, or not. The answer could easily be 'not', if the reasons you are taking lessons have nothing whatsoever to do with performing in front of other people. But if you do have a core reason to do it, and you can identify that reason, then that might allow you to focus on the micro-goal, and forget about the rest (the children who surround you, the audience, the general quality of your performance, ...). And I think that might even make it easier to play better at these things!
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#2049676 - 03/17/13 01:23 PM Re: Live Recitals - Why do I subject myself to this torture? [Re: Sam S]
fifi m Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/19/13
Posts: 16
Oh, be careful. If this keeps up you could develop a real aversion to performing, which would be a shame.

When preparing for the next recital, make sure you run though your pieces in front of an audience. Not your teacher - grab family, friends, whoever, and ask them listen to you play. Not to give feedback, just listen. Performance brings up a special type of nerves that can send the most well-rehearsed piece awry. It sounds like it's performing itself, rather than the playing, that's causing problems. Get used to playing your pieces to people, and it will make getting up on stage much less daunting.

Also, meditate. If meditation doesn't float your boat, just breathe - before you perform and, more importantly, while you're playing. When I perform I have tendency to hold my breath. It doesn't help at all. Noticing this and remembering to breathe will help you relax, which will in turn help your playing.

Finally - don't compare yourself to the kids. So, you made some mistakes - so what? It is what it is. You have strengths in your playing they don't have, and vice versa. Just focus on yourself, and when reviewing your performance afterwards be analytical rather than self critical. It's so easy to focus on the errors, but try to think about the sweet spots too.

Believe me, it does get better with time and experience. I speak as someone who has had some absolute performance shockers - we all have off days!

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#2049746 - 03/17/13 03:38 PM Re: Live Recitals - Why do I subject myself to this torture? [Re: Sam S]
torquenale Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 12/29/12
Posts: 287
Loc: Italy
Sam, first of all I really admire you because of your decision to play - only adult - in a children recital. I am in the same position, I was offered to participate in the June recital, all the other students being children aged 7 to 15. My children are both in, the younger doesn't like to play in public, last year was scared.
So far, I only agree to play a duet with my elder son.
Saranoya told me to go also for a solo piece, and she has good arguments. My teacher told me that, until I don't make faces, people in the public don't hear errors, they are only waiting for their children to play; maybe it was the same for you, they were not so careful - and for sure they forgot your performance in five minutes.
We'll see... I would like to learn to play in public and I know that I should grab the possibility!

Consider that, even if you made mistakes, you have really polished your pieces, and that thanks to the recital! thay will stay with for a long time...
_________________________



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#2049758 - 03/17/13 04:00 PM Re: Live Recitals - Why do I subject myself to this torture? [Re: Sam S]
newest student Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/26/12
Posts: 23
Loc: Eastern PA
Hi Sam!

My teacher has a recital each spring for her students(mostly children and teenagers), and she also has them enter an assessment with the Piano Teacher's Guild, where their skills are assessed. Each student is expected to play pieces from memory, as well as demonstrate skills, like playing scales.

I have only taken lessons since last September, knew absolutely nada about music when I began, and have just worked worked through two thirds of Alfred's Book 1. For those reasons, I have chosen to forgo participation in these events this spring, mainly because I would prefer to spend my time increasing my skills, as opposed to memorization. I have started memorizing a few pieces, and find it terribly time consuming for me.

That being said, I have no objection to my participation in these events in the future(read that next year). I certainly would appreciate an independent evaluation of my skills in the Guild assessment. And I've already spoken to a very accomplished friend, and we may decide to perform a duet for fun during the recital. But as a mature adult, I certainly feel as though its my choice to participate, or not, depending on my desires at the time.

I dont know if that helps at all, but as many others on this forum have said, enjoy the journey, and have fun!!

Bruce

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#2049760 - 03/17/13 04:01 PM Re: Live Recitals - Why do I subject myself to this torture? [Re: Sam S]
Mr Super-Hunky Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 4236
Loc: Arizona.
Sam, please re-read a quote from your post.

"It is disappointing, so much so that I am thinking of not participating in any more live studio recitals. There is another one in May, where we will be playing pop music - I am not looking forward to it."

And now read a quote from Joturs reply

"I'm off to the Alzheimers unit in a couple of hours, as matter of fact. The music is a highlight of their day. And I get to play"

And now recite this cliche..." Attitude is everything"!

Don't forget the saying "Two steps forward, one step back". It seems you are having a 'back' moment and that is perfectly normal. If playing piano was so easy, EVERYONE could do it and it really wouldn't be so special anymore. I know you have the talent and can tell by your performances how hard you are trying at every single detail. Sometimes I wonder if you are not trying too hard!

My suggestion is too take the self imposed stress levels down a notch and start enjoying yourself. Playing piano is supposed to be fun and a stress reliever. Not the opposite.

There is a reason why I go out of my way to tell people how much I don't know because I really don't. I think you know that. But at the same time, I truly love playing piano every single day because I just play for pure joy. No scales to practice, no method books, no sightreading, nothing. Not a damn thing. I just sit down and play. and love it. Eight years now and counting.

What is your piano mission statement? Is it to frustrate yourself causing all kinds of self imposed stress? or is it to play for pure enjoyment and relaxation? Actually, no need to answer that as you already did.

Bottom line: Play for pure enjoyment and relaxation. Why?, because you will enjoy it more and as a result get even better because you will be motivated for the right reasons. Not guilt.

You certainly have the ability and work ethic. I think you just need an attitude adjustment. Re-read Cathys reply one more time just for the heck of it.

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#2049770 - 03/17/13 04:30 PM Re: Live Recitals - Why do I subject myself to this torture? [Re: Sam S]
ClsscLib Online   content

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1746
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Sam, I can really identify.

I'm a 60-year-old adult beginner, playing now for 16 months or so, and I played at my teacher's recital -- my first -- in December. Complete disaster. Lost my place in pieces that are normally well memorized, forgot fingerings, nearly hyperventilated. Similar setting -- 20 or so students and their parents, and I was the only one playing who was old enough to buy a drink. Afterwards, I needed one. (I think I'd have preferred going first, but that slot went to her scholarship piano student, who did a nice job with Claire de Lune and some other sophisticated music, well and truly intimidating some of us who had to play much later.)

My teacher just told me that she is scheduling another recital for May, and I'm thinking of opting out.

I recognize the need to develop a comfort level playing for others, but I don't think doing this recital is the right path for me.

First, having had the experience of the last recital, I know that a good part of my lessons for the next 8 weeks would be prepping for the recital rather than working on the things I should be working on.

Second, I've found other (and for me, I think better) ways of playing for others. In particular, I recently joined an area group of amateur musicians (of whom I'm the youngest!) who meet once a month and play for each other their "works in progress." It's utterly non-competitive, completely supportive. I won't say that I haven't had some nerve issues in that group, but nothing like what I had at the December recital.

I'm also headed to Summerkeys for the first time this year, and I hope it will be yet another experience to share music in a comfortable and unstilted atmosphere.

At my age, I think I've earned the right to decide what I want to get out of music. Playing a formal recital among a group of kids and their parents -- none of whom I know -- just isn't that high on my list. I want every minute I spend at the piano to be enjoyable, and unless I can re-orient my attitude to one of enjoying this recital setting (and I don't think I can or will), I'm inclined to skip it.
_________________________


"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

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#2049783 - 03/17/13 04:49 PM Re: Live Recitals - Why do I subject myself to this torture? [Re: Sam S]
Starr Keys Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/07/09
Posts: 1005
Loc: california
Sam S, please do not give up performing in public recitals. I am dealing with the same issue now and am also in my fifties.

In my performance class at the community college, we are required to perform in two public concerts, which is extra stressful because they are largely attended by music majors in a large lecture hall. If it makes you feel any better several of the adult students in the class, some of whom are advanced and even give pianos lessons for a living, get so nervous that their hands shake and they have to stop and start. My teacher has addressed this issue by recommending and doing exercises from a book entitled Waking the Tiger by Peter Levine, a ground breaking book for trauma suffers and anyone who suffers from anxiety and debilitating nervousness in an area where they'd like to have more control. Its ground breaking because it studies the way animals in predatory scenarios deal with fear and compares it to the way humans do, showing how humans can learn to be more like animals who do not retain any trace of the experience in their bodies but completely let it go.

I am also performing the same piece at another recital for a private voice teacher and I do think the idea of finding a teacher who has separate recitals for her child and adult students is a good one. My voice teacher, who gives piano lessons too and has combined voice and piano recitals, has three recitals a year and only one of them combines adults and children. Since most teachers don't have more than one recital a year, two is plenty for me and most of the students who study with her.

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#2049805 - 03/17/13 05:12 PM Re: Live Recitals - Why do I subject myself to this torture? [Re: Sam S]
TheodorN Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 1192
Loc: Helsingborg, Sweden
I know this feeling. I have never been to a live recital, but I'm a student in the University, where most of the students are 25 years younger than me.

It has actually been no problem, the younge students are very nice to me and never call me the oldie. Except one time I remember, but it was meant in a nice way.

Still, I don't understand why you studying with kids that young. Is there no adult learner's school, or even one with 20+ year olds?
_________________________
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http://www.youtube.com/user/thenorbass1

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#2049833 - 03/17/13 06:06 PM Re: Live Recitals - Why do I subject myself to this torture? [Re: Sam S]
Amaruk Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/02/11
Posts: 802
Loc: New England, USA
Sam, I am impressed that you participate in these events in the first place!

As has been said, just try to enjoy it and I think you will feel more relaxed. smile
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#2049846 - 03/17/13 06:32 PM Re: Live Recitals - Why do I subject myself to this torture? [Re: Sam S]
BillM Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/12/08
Posts: 1520
Loc: Maryland
Originally Posted By: Sam S
me and 10 children


I dunno - while I also admire you for participating in this and sharing your always enjoyable piano playing, it seems like it might be a no win situation to me.

_________________________
BillM (formerly b528nf7)
Roland KR-17M
Clavinova CLP-150
Piano Vocals of Old Guy Tunes

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#2049850 - 03/17/13 06:37 PM Re: Live Recitals - Why do I subject myself to this torture? [Re: Sam S]
Sam S Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/07
Posts: 1412
Loc: Georgia, USA
Thanks everyone for the kind replies. In answer to some of the questions:

I don't play from memory. I tried that in preparation for the first recital and it did not work for me - so I have always used the music. So I can't really blame memory slips - except that the music is complex and I have the difficult parts memorized, even though I do have the music in front of me.

I wish there was a group of adults near me that I could play with. I have searched and found nothing.

My best performances were the first time I went to Summerkeys, a music party that I had at home, and a living room concert at my teacher's house. So there is no real pattern for when I am successful.

I love playing the classical piano repertoire. There is just something about it that is very satisfying, much more so than the popular music for me. And it's tough to learn without a teacher, so I don't think I will stop the lessons.

I am going to Summerkeys again this summer, so I will play there again. So far I am 50/50 with those recitals - maybe I can improve my average.

Sam

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#2049871 - 03/17/13 07:12 PM Re: Live Recitals - Why do I subject myself to this torture? [Re: Sam S]
zillybug Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/11/11
Posts: 127
Loc: USA
Hi Sam,
You are a really good pianist. I have listened to some of your playing on this site. I admire you for being willing to play in a recital where you are the only adult. Where I take lessons, we have a end of the year event that they call a gathering rather than a recital just for the adult students. However, the first year after only having returned to the piano for 4 months, I was a nervous wreck at the thought of playing in front of 25 other adult students and 5 teachers. It's been a little over 2 years now and while I don't think it is anything that I will ever truly enjoy, it has gotten a little easier. I see that you and Classiclib are going to Summerkeys this year. My best experience playing in front of others was also at Summerkeys. It was jut so relaxed up there. I am going the last week in June. I purposefully go then since it is not crowded and there will be less people in the audience. I see they are adding violin and viola in June this year so there may be more students. I am not ready yet to go in July or august when I have heard that the church is packed.
when are you both going? I am going with a friend this year who just started taking lessons again this month. I can't wait to go.

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#2049879 - 03/17/13 07:24 PM Re: Live Recitals - Why do I subject myself to this torture? [Re: zillybug]
Sam S Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/07
Posts: 1412
Loc: Georgia, USA
Originally Posted By: zillybug
Hi Sam,
I see that you and Classiclib are going to Summerkeys this year. My best experience playing in front of others was also at Summerkeys. It was jut so relaxed up there. I am going the last week in June. I purposefully go then since it is not crowded and there will be less people in the audience. I see they are adding violin and viola in June this year so there may be more students. I am not ready yet to go in July or august when I have heard that the church is packed.
when are you both going? I am going with a friend this year who just started taking lessons again this month. I can't wait to go.


I've been to Summerkeys twice, both times the 3rd week in July - yes the recital was packed.

This year I'm going the very first week, the 3rd week in June, because I have other commitments in July. It will be interesting to see the difference.

There's another PW member going too - FarmGirl, I think in August.

Sam

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#2049891 - 03/17/13 07:42 PM Re: Live Recitals - Why do I subject myself to this torture? [Re: Sam S]
Starr Keys Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/07/09
Posts: 1005
Loc: california
Sam, I agree that you are a very good amateur classical pianist. One of the older students (late fifties) in my class mentioned an organization (I cant remember if it was state or national) that offered amateur players the opportunity to perform in quarterly recitals. We're on spring break right now, so I cant ask her the name, but I found this one for classical pianists.

http://www.amsfperform.org/performance.html

Perhaps there is something like it in your area. If you're interested, I'd just google amateur pianists performance opportunities and the nearest city in your area to find out.


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#2049914 - 03/17/13 08:21 PM Re: Live Recitals - Why do I subject myself to this torture? [Re: Sam S]
WiseBuff Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/03/05
Posts: 807
Loc: Brighton Colorado
Originally Posted By: Sam S
[quote=zillybug] I've been to Summerkeys twice, both times the 3rd week in July - yes the recital was packed.

There's another PW member going too - FarmGirl, I think in August.

Sam


Me too...me too. I'm going to Summerkeys First week in July.
This discussion tells us so much about experience, self-perception and attitude. Jotur, your vibrant relationship with the piano is such a pleasure to experiece.
Sam, Being the only adult in a "recital" just sets up all sorts of pitfalls. I can't even watch the youtube videos of the 8 year playing some piece that I struggle with. We have to focus on sharing our love of music and let go of the feeling of being judged (i.e. recital). My teacher has many adult students and we play twice or three times a year with each other. The newest students are still shaky and nervous. I'm less so but it's still there. Ah...self criticism when will you leave me?


Edited by WiseBuff (03/17/13 08:22 PM)
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#2049969 - 03/17/13 11:02 PM Re: Live Recitals - Why do I subject myself to this torture? [Re: Sam S]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6098
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
I think you should try to overcome your fear of the kids or feeling that they are better.
If you overcome this fear you will perform better at public recitals and once the ice is broken it will get easier and easier.
You are yourself, Sam, and you perform as Sam, and people will love you as big Sam instead of little Bob (just a random name).
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


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#2050014 - 03/18/13 02:13 AM Re: Live Recitals - Why do I subject myself to this torture? [Re: Sam S]
Spacetone Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/16/13
Posts: 16
Loc: CA
Hey man, just keep trying your best! I feel that maybe you psyche yourself out a bit when performing? Maybe you think "crap I better not mess up or they'll think the kids are way better than me. Lol or something like that? You say you have the difficult parts memorized? That's good! Very smart. Also, before performing boost your confidence with a "idgaf what they'll think about my playing. If I messed whatever, I'll try my best next time. I'm not going to die from a technical error. Psh!" It works for me. Also, just imagine you're completely alone when playing don't think about or look at the audience when playing. It's easier said than done, but once you feel "alone and intimate on stage" you'll start giving great performances!

Best of luck to you!

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#2050028 - 03/18/13 02:49 AM Re: Live Recitals - Why do I subject myself to this torture? [Re: Spacetone]
Charles Cohen Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1266
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Having read the thread (quickly), I have a question for the OP, reflecting his question back:

. . . Sam, why _do_ you put yourself through this?

A "recital" is a funny kind of event. It combines elements of:

a demonstration of skill,

a comparison with other people,

a performance -- "Here's something I hope you enjoy"

a teacher-pleasing exercise,

an opportunity to get used to playing in front of other people,

a rite of passage.

So which aspects do you enjoy? Which do you not enjoy? Which are frightening?

And, is the balance worthwhile _for you_ ?

If you say:

. . . Teacher, I don't want to participate --
. . . it gives me more angst that I can handle.

how do you _expect_ Teacher will react?

Where I'm coming from:

My singing teacher doesn't have recitals. She does run a small choir (largely composed of her adult students), and we sing occasionally at old-age homes, "care homes", and so on. Nobody's trying to prove anything, and we have a good time, along with the audience. It's a very low-pressure situation.

I'm also "in the band" -- as a hand-drummer and singer -- for a local chant group. I'm improving as a singer, and my rule for drumming is simple:

. . . I only play rhythms which are well within my capabilities.

We perform monthly, and our _only_ goal is to encourage our (participating) audience to have a good experience. We do OK with that.

This summer, I may join a choir that requires an audition. I haven't done anything like that for decades, and it'll be interesting to see how I react to it.

. Charles

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#2050049 - 03/18/13 03:55 AM Re: Live Recitals - Why do I subject myself to this torture? [Re: Sam S]
FarmGirl Online   content

Silver Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 1973
Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Sam - don't give up performing in front of others. I agree that playing in kids only recitals is tough. I've done that for every year until last year. I used to think I am not made for public performance. I moved to a new teacher who teaches at a community college which put me in the situation having to play on stage every week. Nothing like doing it many times. After a couple of months, I got used to playing through a piece in front of others. It does not mean that my fingers won't shake. They do, of cousre. I'm on the stage with half cooked piece. But I learned to control the shaking fingers and a couple of strategies how to cover up mistakes. My teacher told me that my experience is very common. Without adequte performance practice, it's not easy to perform to your satisfaction in occasional recitals. I'm only doing this once in a week, but the performance class is held twice in a week. Can you imagine how good you get if you can attend all those classes. If there's a community college nearby, do consider taking similar course. If its not available, create opportunities for yourself. I play whenever I can find my victim. Cleaning ladies, handyman and every guest in my house have to endure my piano. The moment they say, "you have a grand piano", I say "would u like to hear what sounds like?". Without waiting their answer, i just walk over & play. I suggest doing it like a real recital - without stopping play through a piece. Mark the spot where you made mistakes, memory problem etc and fix them in your practice. Good luck.

Yes I'm going to Summer Key in August. I signed up for the two piano section. I am preparing to play this (Mozart piece) at tempo for the school. This would be interesting experience performance wise since its much more difficult to read under pressure (for me anyway), let alone I have to learn to play with other individual.
_________________________
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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#2050053 - 03/18/13 04:10 AM Re: Live Recitals - Why do I subject myself to this torture? [Re: Sam S]
casinitaly Online   content

Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 4981
Loc: Italy
You've had so much feedback, mine is probably redundant...but I have to say that I would be extremely reluctant to play in a recital with a bunch of kids. (I will possibly have this dubious "opportunity" at the end of this school year)....

I do know that performing is like public speaking - the more you do it, the better you get.

I think - as others have suggested- that it would be great for you to find another venue. What about trying a piano shop and seeing if you can connect with other adult learners? Or a local music school?
_________________________
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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#2050115 - 03/18/13 08:27 AM Re: Live Recitals - Why do I subject myself to this torture? [Re: Sam S]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3172
Loc: Maine
You could form your own adult performance group, by getting in touch with the teachers in your town and inviting their adult students. It might be useful to work through the local music teachers association.

Also, I would challenge your belief that there's something undesirable about playing with kids. You're all people playing the piano.
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

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#2050125 - 03/18/13 08:45 AM Re: Live Recitals - Why do I subject myself to this torture? [Re: casinitaly]
Ragdoll Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/12
Posts: 671
Loc: Illinois
Quote:
You've had so much feedback, mine is probably redundant...but I have to say that I would be extremely reluctant to play in a recital with a bunch of kids.


I have poured over this thread because I recently decided to drop out of anymore recitals like these (lone adult in a class of kids from 5 to 18). I do enjoy playing for others but these recitals leave me drained and POed because.

1. They are too long, usually 2 hours.
2. I don't believe they're scheduled well.
3. A lot of students are woefully unprepared to play and spend unbearably long times finding their music in their book(s) while at the bench.
4. This may sound snarky but see #1, instead of playing their 20-30 second pieces at one sitting we play one piece at a time in rotation and this wears on me. help because we are required to stay for the entire recital. Each playing 3 to 5 pieces!

Now that said, I think it's great to see these children learning piano but sitting recitals with them is just becoming unbearable for me. Still some of the youngsters play quite well and blow me away with their talent at piano. I just suppose being young they have more patience to sit through it better than I'm able to muster.

As I have stated before, at this stage of my life, if it's not fun for me I'm out. Just cranky I guess, "YOU KIDS GET OFF MY GRASS" grin
_________________________
Ragdoll

Never get directions from someone who hasn't been there.

Just be yourself, everyone else is already taken.


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#2050137 - 03/18/13 09:07 AM Re: Live Recitals - Why do I subject myself to this torture? [Re: Sam S]
Roger Ransom Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/19/05
Posts: 1254
Loc: SouthWest Michigan
Scary recitals were one of the reasons I quit lessons when I was a teenager. I would never subject myself to them again. I, personally don't see the value. Others opinions obviously differ.

I have since learned to enjoy playing for other people but it's always a low stress situation (like background music or a nursing home etc.) and it's always on my terms.
_________________________
Laugh More
Yamaha G7 - Roland FP7

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#2050170 - 03/18/13 10:39 AM Re: Live Recitals - Why do I subject myself to this torture? [Re: PianoStudent88]
FarmGirl Online   content

Silver Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 1973
Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
You could form your own adult performance group, by getting in touch with the teachers in your town and inviting their adult students. It might be useful to work through the local music teachers association.

Also, I would challenge your belief that there's something undesirable about playing with kids. You're all people playing the piano.


+1
Nothing like getting together with other adults. They all understand your feeling. In my piano party, everyone started out with a long speech why he or she may not perform well. We all played good but it was almost comical to see everyone gave sumilar speeches. No kids do that. Also everyone was very warm and encouraging. Not like kids - they can be cruel. They don't mean to be but they cannot understand life and it's toll.
_________________________
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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#2050190 - 03/18/13 11:12 AM Re: Live Recitals - Why do I subject myself to this torture? [Re: FarmGirl]
Starr Keys Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/07/09
Posts: 1005
Loc: california
Originally Posted By: Farmgirl
I moved to a new teacher who teaches at a community college which put me in the situation having to play on stage every week. Nothing like doing it many times. After a couple of months, I got used to playing through a piece in front of others. Nothing like getting together with other adults. They all understand your feeling.


+1. The community college performance class I'm taking has also proven to be a great transition vehicle from playing in front of a camera to playing in front of a live audience. We are required to play at least once a month in class for works in progress, but are invited to play more often, and are required to participate in two public recitals that draw a significantly larger audience. About half of the students are my age or a little younger or older and seem to be experiencing the same issues with nerves, and everyone is very supportive and patient. It does get easier under these circumstances.

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