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#572790 - 06/29/01 04:35 PM performance tips
sj@@k Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/27/01
Posts: 30
Loc: holland
hi everyone,

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

sjaak

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#572791 - 06/29/01 04:54 PM Re: performance tips
LadyElton Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 521
Loc: Southeastern Pennsylvania
I'm not sure if I can offer much advice. I can relate though. I had my first recital on June 2nd. I played Mozart's Minuet in F Major. I had the piece down pact, had it memorized and had played it countless times. However, when I got up on stage my mind went blank. I fumbled my way through the piece.

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

Hilary
_________________________
Hilary aka LadyElton

********************

Check out my blog

"Looking like a true survivor..."
-- Sir EJ/BT '83

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#572792 - 06/29/01 04:56 PM Re: performance tips
CrashTest Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 4110
In my experience, a peformance will turn out favorable if you practice the works you wish to play extensively and know them in and out. The more you play in front of people, the better, so try and play for a group of people before you perform. Knowing differnent sections of a piece well is also good, if you have a memory lapse, you can quickly go to one of those areas and make it slightly noticable. Good luck!

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#572793 - 06/29/01 05:17 PM Re: performance tips
Vid Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/01
Posts: 706
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
A lot of have been there so don't feel too bad. I still get nervous enough that I botch up the music a lot more than I want to. The only advice I can offer is to perform as often as you can. Even if its for just friends or family - make it seem semi-formal and visualize that you are playing on stage. I don't think you can ever entirely get rid of stage fright but you can control it so hang in there!

:rolleyes:
_________________________
Kawai VPC1, Pianoteq, Galaxy Vintage D

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#572794 - 06/29/01 07:32 PM Re: performance tips
LadyElton Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 521
Loc: Southeastern Pennsylvania
I admit, I am getting better playing in front of friends and family. After the recital, I played the piece for my grandmother with very few mistakes. I think it might've helped if I could've practiced on the piano that I was going to play for the recital. Next year, I'll just sneak into the church after work and practice. \:D
_________________________
Hilary aka LadyElton

********************

Check out my blog

"Looking like a true survivor..."
-- Sir EJ/BT '83

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#572795 - 06/29/01 11:38 PM Re: performance tips
Joe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/27/01
Posts: 86
Loc: New Jersey
I find it helpful to practice the piece in small increments, especially Bach. It's much easier for the brain to absorb things that way as opposed to always playing from beginning to end.

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

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

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

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

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#572796 - 06/30/01 10:01 AM Re: performance tips
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17670
Loc: Victoria, BC
Sj@@k:
The suggestions that have been made are all very valid. Know the piece inside out, as they say. One teacher I heard of makes his students memorize the piece hands separately, and perform it for him, by memory, hands separately, can you imagine! That seems to be an extreme measure, but if you can do that, you'd probably never get lost.
It seems to me the most practical step towards solving this problem is to play the piece/recital for as many private audiences as possible before the performance. Knowing the piano you are going to play on, too, is a comfort that relieves one of the elements of stress.
And, finally, remember that we who lose our place in a piece during performance are in very lofty company. I don't think there is a pianist alive today - professional as well as amateur - who has not had mental blocks. That's no consolation at the time of the "disaster" but it helps put things in perspective afterwards - and maybe even before.
Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190 in satin ebony
Writing from Paris until 15 May, 2014

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#572797 - 07/04/01 10:55 PM Re: performance tips
Aura Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/02/01
Posts: 92
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
All the suggestions that I was going to make have already been mentioned very well by all of you, so there isn't really anything more for me to add. Everthing that has been said is very helpful and true...

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

Cheers
Aura
_________________________
cheers

Aura

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#572798 - 07/04/01 11:46 PM Re: performance tips
Joe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/27/01
Posts: 86
Loc: New Jersey
You know, something I know I need to do more is to..... Sing the voices! Singing helps, there's a reason you have to sight sing in school!

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

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#572799 - 07/05/01 11:01 PM Re: performance tips
Aura Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/02/01
Posts: 92
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Joe,

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

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

Cheers
_________________________
cheers

Aura

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#572800 - 07/06/01 01:27 AM Re: performance tips
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 13974
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Close your eyes, meditate or try to think
you really dont't give a ......then get on stage......and play your pants off!It works!!
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
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#572801 - 07/06/01 05:09 AM Re: performance tips
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17670
Loc: Victoria, BC
Here's another technique I've been told of to tell you how well you really know a piece you think you know.
Try playing it, quite slowly, in your mind, away from the piano. Imagine every note, exact hand position, etc. It can be an excruciatingly difficult exercise and less than successful if you don't have a lot of patience, but it certainly points up your weak spots as far as memorization is concerned.
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190 in satin ebony
Writing from Paris until 15 May, 2014

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#572802 - 07/07/01 06:34 PM Re: performance tips
Amy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 433
Loc: Upstate New York
I too had some serious memory problems when I was performing a Chopin waltz. My teacher has recently told me that when you truly have a song memorized you should be able to say the name of the note before you play it. You should try to visualize the music in your head. Also while preparing to play in a concert you should either close your eyes or play in the total dark. If you can play it good like that theres no way that you can mess it up in a concert. \:\)
_________________________
-Amy-
*Visit my page! http://www.expage.com/pianopalace

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