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#584812 - 06/04/02 04:02 AM recital observations
nancyww Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/02
Posts: 585
Loc: central oregon
My daughter's recital was yesterday and I enjoyed watching these talented piano students perform. I also learned a few things to remember the next time I have to play in front of other people. For example:

Before leaving home, have someone check to see how the back of one's outfit looks when seated at the piano. It's embarrassing when a performer's top and bottom "gap" upon sitting down, to reveal "fruit of the loom".... or worse.

The person playing secondo in a duet is somewhat hidden from view of the audience. This would be a good choice for someone like me, whose hands shake when nervous.

Use the restroom before the recital starts. It will last twice as long as planned.

Don't turn your back to the audience when bending over to move the piano bench.

It looks really good to smile after playing, even when the performance is less than perfect.

Anyone else have practical advice for playing in a recital?

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#584813 - 06/04/02 07:57 AM Re: recital observations
okat47 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/01
Posts: 193
Loc: Canada
Don't forget to bow! At student recitals, bowing seems to be a hit and miss thing, especially for younger students. Teachers should teach their students how to bow properly. It looks professional and polished and it shows respect for the audience.

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#584814 - 06/04/02 12:11 PM Re: recital observations
Beth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/21/01
Posts: 151
Loc: Atlanta Area
Be sure to wear shoes that you can walk in comfortably and have practiced with. Pedalling in unfamiliar shoes can really throw your concentration.

I agree with the bowing, but like everything else about performing, it is a learned art. At my first recital, I was the only adult: in fact, my teacher said she had never before had an adult student willing to play at a recital. I was very nervous about playing for all those parents. And I was especially nervous about the bow. How could I bow if I bombed the piece? I knew she had placed me last, so I hid a silly "sparkly star" headband in the large pocket of my jacket. You know, the ones with springs that wobble back and forth? I played "We Three Kings",and got the headband out as I moved off the bench; put it on as I bowed, and got a great laugh out of everyone. Professional? not really. But it did relieve the stress. I knew even if I blew the piece, I'd "do the bow."

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#584815 - 06/04/02 05:03 PM Re: recital observations
Bernard Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/06/01
Posts: 3857
Loc: North Groton, NH
nancyww, those are precious. My previous teacher used to have us rehearse bowing, we practiced it a number of times. She told us to look at a point above everyone's head and to smile; we could place our left hand on the piano if we wanted to when we bowed; and to bow all the way down.
_________________________
"Hunger for growth will come to you in the form of a problem." -- unknown

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#584816 - 06/04/02 08:35 PM Re: recital observations
PianoMuse Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 902
Loc: Philly, PA
Apparently, the thing in Europe now is to move in front of the piano, line yourself up with the prop stick that holds the lid up, and bow right there. at one of our major recitals, where many prominent musicans attended, they were all "very impressed", or so my teacher said, with the one student who did this. But, anyways, i prefer to bow in front of the bench.
_________________________
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music." ~Rachmaninoff

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#584817 - 06/04/02 10:15 PM Re: recital observations
Mr. Gould Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/01
Posts: 1111
Always eat a good meal before playing.
And yes, going to the washroom before would be a good idea!!

I was at a recital and this little kid, like 6 years old was playing and all of a sudden he stoped, got up, and asked to go to the washroom...

Funniest thing I have ever seen!!!!

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#584818 - 06/05/02 01:25 AM Re: recital observations
nancyww Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/02
Posts: 585
Loc: central oregon
 Quote:
Originally posted by Classical Player:
Always eat a good meal before playing.
And yes, going to the washroom before would be a good idea!!

I was at a recital and this little kid, like 6 years old was playing and all of a sudden he stoped, got up, and asked to go to the washroom...

Funniest thing I have ever seen!!!![/b]
That does sound funny. \:D The recital on Sunday lasted about 2 hours. During that time, 2 different kids popped up and ran to the restroom...in the middle of someone else's performance. At least they waited until that person was finished playing before returning to their seats.

As for eating a good meal before performing, is anyone else like me? Whatever I eat becomes a giant rock in my stomach by the time I arrive at the recital. \:\(

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#584819 - 06/05/02 04:10 AM Re: recital observations
Moki Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/20/02
Posts: 8
Loc: Washington State
I agree about having comfortable shoes. Kind of in the same vein, another thing is to make sure your clothing is comfortable. More than likely, you'll need to be dressed nicely, but even with formal wear, you'll want to be as comfy as possible. To me, that means:

* Clothing that isn't too tight or restricting.

* Clothing that isn't too warm (or too cold).

* Modest neckline for women (for when you take your bow -- of course, if you curtsy, I guess you don't need to worry about that quite as much).

* Sleeves that aren't too tight or too loose (you want freedom, but you don't want your sleeves to be flopping all over and getting in your way).

Hmm... you'd think I was a real clothes-conscious person, but here I sit in my daily uniform (shorts and a t-shirt)... \:D
_________________________
-mo

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#584820 - 06/05/02 04:19 AM Re: recital observations
mkesfahani Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/02
Posts: 836
Loc: Irvine, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by nancyww:
As for eating a good meal before performing, is anyone else like me? Whatever I eat becomes a giant rock in my stomach by the time I arrive at the recital. \:\( [/b]
Yes. I think at least 24 hours before performing, one should avoid animal protein as much possible because that is the main cause of "butterflies."

Mike

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#584821 - 06/05/02 11:00 AM Re: recital observations
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
The one that stopped me was SHOES! I knew enough to practice my piece wearing the shoes I was going to perform in, but it never occurred to me to walk across the stage in the very same shoes (the piano was in a practice room during my "dry run").

SQUISH, SQUEAK, SPLODGE! Those friggin' shoes made more noise than the piano on the wooden stage floor... I was mortified!


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#584822 - 06/08/02 08:23 PM Re: recital observations
nancyww Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/02
Posts: 585
Loc: central oregon
My daughter played in a music festival today. It was FREEZING in there. I'm learning as we go....take a sweater just in case. Some of the kids were wringing their hands to try to warm up before they played.

Have you ever watched the parents as their kids play? You can see them drop their heads, shake their heads, clutch their chests or get this panic stricken look on their faces when their child hits a wrong note. I bet the performer can sometimes see that out of the corner of the eye. Perhaps piano teachers should coach the parents as well as their students before a recital. "Now when your child sits down to play their piece, take a deep breath and focus on the music. If you hear a wrong note, don't make a funny face. Smile and clap at the end." \:\)

By the way, do any of you take your music into the recital with you, like a security blanket? Even if you plan to play from memory?

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#584823 - 06/09/02 08:41 AM Re: recital observations
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17964
Loc: Victoria, BC
I'm taking all of this very much to heart, as I will undoubtedly be called upon to perform in the next few weeks (Please see the thread I started: "Personal Plug"). I will practice bowing!

I would also add that if you have a piece of jewelry that you "always" wear, it might be a good idea not to wear it for the recital. I wear my college ring 24/7 (as they say!), but I find that sometimes when my hands are cold - from ambient temperature or from nerves - my ring finger shrinks just enough so that the ring tends to turn and gets in the way of playing. On the other hand, (pun intended?) I believe that Rubinstein always wore a ring. The one time I saw him in recital he was wearing one, and I believe I have seen it in photos/videos. But, then, I'm not Rubinstein, in case you were wondering!

I would think that bracelets are a definite "no-no," aren't they? They can surely get in the way and can also be very distracting to the audience.

Thanks to all for the observations.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#584824 - 06/09/02 01:15 PM Re: recital observations
CrashTest Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 4110
In the last month or so I have played a number of times in public, I have learned quite a few valuable things through experience. First, I have trouble eating before the recital, I am nervous so food just does not sit right. Secondly, I take my time when I sit down at the piano. A piece I played required use of the una corda pedal along with the sustain pedal, and I did not take my time to accustom myself to the piano (I had never played on it before) and thus had some trouble locating the pedal during the piece. (My knee always hits the bottom of the piano board, so I have to keep my foot just above the pedal or else It is hard to get comfortable.) Performing really does get easier after you do it a couple of times, the nerves turn into pure energy for me.

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#584825 - 06/10/02 08:26 AM Re: recital observations
okat47 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/01
Posts: 193
Loc: Canada
You talk about parents getting nervous, but the teachers get nervous too. I had 2 of my students play in a music festival this year and I was so nervous I couldn't watch. I just stared at my program the whole time. I never thought it would be so hard.

CrashTest, your advice about taking time to get accustomed to the piano is sound. I played a piece where I needed to use the middle pedal. During the performance,I was quite surprised to find out that the piano did not have a middle pedal! According to my page turner, the expression on my face was priceless. She could hardly keep from laughing the whole time.

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