So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp

Posted by: albynism

So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/06/13 11:27 PM

Apparently it's going to be a small competition in my local area (they don't even have a grand piano). And she assured me it's going to be very casual with only small number of people attending. I know it's going to be good for me because I explained to her how I get ultra nervous when I perform in front of an audience. So this was her solution!!
The competition is a month away but I already feel nauseous thinking about it. I will have 9 year old prodigies kicking my butt. It's like trying to recite a poetry in a foreign language that you just learn a few years ago and you are now competing with native speakers. frown
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/06/13 11:32 PM

How old are you? How long have you played?
What are you looking for? Advice? Sympathy? Strategies to get out of doing it? grin
Posted by: albynism

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/06/13 11:34 PM

I'm 30 and have been getting back in less than 2 years. I dabbled a little as a kid. Anything you can throw at is welcome. Even tomatoes.
Posted by: HalfStep

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/06/13 11:35 PM

Originally Posted By: albynism
Apparently it's going to be a small competition in my local area (they don't even have a grand piano). And she assured me it's going to be very casual with only small number of people attending. I know it's going to be good for me because I explained to her how I get ultra nervous when I perform in front of an audience. So this was her solution!!
The competition is a month away but I already feel nauseous thinking about it. I will have 9 year old prodigies kicking my butt. It's like trying to recite a poetry in a foreign language that you just learn a few years ago and you are now competing with native speakers. frown


You will grow from the experience. I take lessons but do not do recitals or comps. My daughter does them and I am always impressed with how well she plays. It's a good experience, go for it!
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/06/13 11:37 PM

Well, do you want to do it or are you really against doing it? Your teacher can't make you do it if you don't want to...you're not a teenager and she's not your mom. ha
Posted by: albynism

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/06/13 11:41 PM

I have mixed feeling about this. I know it's good for me but I'm just so scared. Also if I pull out my teacher may not want to help me get over my fear anymore. Oh it doesn't help that the last recital I performed was a disaster I was the only one with severe memory lapse frown
Posted by: Peter K. Mose

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/07/13 12:00 AM

My professional advice is to withdraw from this now. Be firm with your teacher. Competition is not casual, except in the eyes of a music teacher.

Offer to play in some minor public way instead, if you both think that's a good idea for you. Perhaps a recital of adult beginners.
Posted by: Derulux

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/07/13 12:10 AM

Originally Posted By: albynism
I'm 30 and have been getting back in less than 2 years. I dabbled a little as a kid. Anything you can throw at is welcome. Even tomatoes.

If you tell me where it is, I'll bring the tomatoes. laugh

Seriously, though.. if it's such a small comp, I wouldn't sweat it. Best way to get over nerves is to continually do the the thing you're afraid of while working on some mental techniques.

(PS-this advice is coming from someone who used to be afraid to read out loud to his kindergarten class, but whom you couldn't kick off the stage now if you had to. It just takes time, and a serious devotion to overcome your fears. Facing them is step one. smile )
Posted by: albynism

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/07/13 12:12 AM

You reckon? I live in an area where piano is practically non existant. There arent many performance opportunities let alone an adult beginner recital (which I think is a great great idea!). Currently The only way to perform is
1) play for friends
2) enter in competition such as this one
3) the annual student recital

Or I can hijack the pub near my workplace where they have an awful sounding grand piano which might have been last tuned in the 1800. Last time I try playing on it the bartender gave me a dirty look
Posted by: Derulux

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/07/13 12:57 AM

Originally Posted By: albynism
You reckon? I live in an area where piano is practically non existant. There arent many performance opportunities let alone an adult beginner recital (which I think is a great great idea!). Currently The only way to perform is
1) play for friends
2) enter in competition such as this one
3) the annual student recital

Or I can hijack the pub near my workplace where they have an awful sounding grand piano which might have been last tuned in the 1800. Last time I try playing on it the bartender gave me a dirty look

Ask the bartender if it's okay to play it for a bit, and what would be the best time. You probably just picked a bad time.

And buy a drink or two. Doesn't have to be alcoholic, just make a purchase. Usually makes them more friendly.
Posted by: Bobpickle

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/07/13 02:57 AM

I'd reference Derulux's signature for good advice here. I'd first stop thinking about the whole thing as a competition and focusing more on the aspect of getting to perform (like in a recital) and share with others the music you've been practicing.

If you want to really practice for it, then practice not only diligently at home, but also practice performing (performing means no stopping even after a mistake!) every couple of days for others, taking note of where you seem to encounter mistakes, possible memory slips, rhythmic errors, any and all technical issues you hadn't noticed before, etc. and then follow-up at home by practicing with a focus on all these "new" issues. The nice thing about competing with nine-year-old's (or whatever age younger than you) here is that they don't have the thinking capacity for devising strategies like this.
Posted by: rnaple

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/07/13 07:41 AM

Everything going through your mind is doing a good job of sabotaging you. It is succeeding. Take it in. Let it break you. Then, when you are broken. You can begin. That is where you really play music.
Why do you think they say: Break a Leg. ????
It is not until you have gone beyond existing in your autonomic nervous system that you can truly perform. You need to learn to go beyond trying to copy music. Start perfoming it.
I have an extremely good book by Madeline Bruser, titled: The Art of Practicing. She gives examples of people breaking though to really play with expression and feeling. It shows. She has a bunch in this book that I think will help you.
It's about the music. It isn't about you. Isn't about your ego. Once you face this. You will become a different person in this competition. The kids won't be able to come close to you. Once you face the fact that you need to play as if you are going to die tomorrow. That is when you break through to true performance.
Posted by: Andy Platt

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/07/13 08:29 AM

After having done one recital at a retirement center where I was the only adult, I have laid down the law that I won't participate in kid's events. It's just weird to me.

(Incidentally I now MC for the same organization that put on the retirement center concert and that's fine - I could even play if I want, but then it would be clearly the adult MC performing along side the kids instead of being one of them!)

So, I would tell your teacher you will only participate (assuming you want to, otherwise tell them "no") if there are other adults participating.

There's a good reason my piano studio has "adult" only recitals (they actually throw them open to some advanced younger students but then it's clear they are expected to hang with the adults not the other way around.)
Posted by: Ragdoll

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/07/13 09:21 AM

Quote:
The competition is a month away but I already feel nauseous thinking about it. I will have 9 year old prodigies kicking my butt. It's like trying to recite a poetry in a foreign language that you just learn a few years ago and you are now competing with native speakers.



I doubt there are that many "prodigies" but only students who are ahead of you wrt their piano studies. I do understand how you feel though, my very first recital I played a song that I had worked on for months and felt very confident about. Immediately after my performance, a 12 year old played the same thing and made my effort look rather pathetic (and mine was pretty good BTW).
Then I learned he had been at lessons for 5 years vs my 1 1/2 yrs and I saw the flaw in my thinking more clearly.

That said, if you really don't want to play in the competition, ask teacher to drop you and make it clear you would prefer a few recitals first to gain some confidence in playing for an audience. The more you play for others the easier it gets. It's twoo, twoo. whome
Posted by: dmd

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/07/13 09:25 AM

I would suggest that you only do this if you have a piece that you have been playing for quite a while and are extremely confident that you will be able to get through it without disaster.

Experiencing disaster at a recital builds fear and that fear begets more disaster.

Extreme preparation will help you feel confident and that can make a huge difference.

And, if you do not want to do it ... don't do it.
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/07/13 09:36 AM

Originally Posted By: albynism
Apparently it's going to be a small competition in my local area (they don't even have a grand piano). And she assured me it's going to be very casual with only small number of people attending. I know it's going to be good for me because I explained to her how I get ultra nervous when I perform in front of an audience. So this was her solution!!
The competition is a month away but I already feel nauseous thinking about it. I will have 9 year old prodigies kicking my butt. It's like trying to recite a poetry in a foreign language that you just learn a few years ago and you are now competing with native speakers. frown


I have an adult student who gets like this every year I enter her in the local piano competition. It's not really a competition, more like a festival. She plays in a room with just her and the "judge" who is just another piano teacher. They are always very kind to her and she's never had a bad experience. This sounds like a similar thing to what your teacher has you doing.

In preparing my student for this, I related this story to her. While I am a piano and voice teacher, I am also an opera singer. This involves a lot of auditioning, which is highly competitive. I did an audition a month ago in Chicago, where I was fully prepared for: I had my arias well-rehearsed, the acting down, was feeling healthy and confident. Then this past weekend I had another audition, but I had learned about it last-minute, and not only that, but they were requiring to hear certain arias that I had never studied. I had 5 days to learn them. I was sitting outside of the building, having arrived early to the site, but was not in the right frame of mind. I was not confident, and I wasn't happy with my preparation. I knew I didn't have a good attitude walking in the building, so I had to fix that.

Then I realized that every time I am auditioning, I am performing. I love to perform, because I am sharing what I love with my audience. I want them to be happy and entertained with what I've done. If they've never heard the music before then I'll be exposing them to some great "new" music, and if they've heard it before, well, everyone loves to hear something familiar and it will always have a different twist on it because they've never heard *me* do this piece before. I realized that I wanted to share my music with the director/judge, and not only that, they *want* to be entertained. They want to hear you do well. They're on your side. This is sometimes hard to realize because of course, the audience always faces you, which appears a bit antagonistic. In reality, they wanted to be communicated with through your music. Once I was able to get the right perspective, I walked into the building and did my best all things considered.

So the attitude that you have toward this event is SUPER important - perhaps moreso than anything else. Preparation, of course, helps, but many musicians are very prepared and still bomb the performance because the attitude is not right. Another way of looking at this is being in Love mode vs. Fear mode. If you play out of love of the music, the instrument, and the audience, then you will fare much better than being afraid of it all.

The best advice I can give you is to try performing your pieces a lot ahead of time for anyone who will listen, and in this process work on maintaining the right attitude throughout. Do not let your mind get distracted while you are performing, because when you play you must be focused on the music and communicating it to your audience. But in the days to come before you play, be sure it is always out of love.
Posted by: Gigantoad

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/07/13 09:51 AM

What's the benefit of a competition to begin with? Music should never be a competition. If this will help you get over the fear of performing in public, fine. But then I would ask: do you even want to perform in public? Do you have plans to make this your job later on? Otherwise I see no benefit and no reason for you to suffer at all.
Posted by: wouter79

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/07/13 11:01 AM

Originally Posted By: albynism
Apparently it's going to be a small competition in my local area (they don't even have a grand piano). And she assured me it's going to be very casual with only small number of people attending. I know it's going to be good for me because I explained to her how I get ultra nervous when I perform in front of an audience. So this was her solution!!
The competition is a month away but I already feel nauseous thinking about it. I will have 9 year old prodigies kicking my butt. It's like trying to recite a poetry in a foreign language that you just learn a few years ago and you are now competing with native speakers. frown


Is this really "competition" (judges, prices, etc?). Maybe it's just a fun recital, not a real competition?

Assuming it's a recital: maybe you're worrying too much on this. Most kids are not nearly as progidy as you might think if you check the youtube videos. Most are just playing basic tunes from the course book and these rarely get posted on youtube hence the skew in perception.

Yet it will not help you if you can't play your piece. Get it down properly before doing public performance.
Posted by: Marco M

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/07/13 11:33 AM

RNAPLE, THANKS FOR THIS!
I´ll print this out and nail it to my piano! For long time I haven´t read something so motivating!

Originally Posted By: rnaple
Everything going through your mind is doing a good job of sabotaging you. It is succeeding. Take it in. Let it break you. Then, when you are broken. You can begin. That is where you really play music.
(...)
It is not until you have gone beyond existing in your autonomic nervous system that you can truly perform. You need to learn to go beyond trying to copy music. Start perfoming it.
(...)
It's about the music. It isn't about you. Isn't about your ego. Once you face this. You will become a different person (...) Once you face the fact that you need to play as if you are going to die tomorrow. That is when you break through to true performance.
Posted by: albynism

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/07/13 03:37 PM

Thanks everyone how throwing in some ideas, Derulux if you are in Australia you are welcome to bring in your tomatoes.

After reading everyone comment I formulated a plan:

I'm trying a different trick this time, I'm going to perform with the mindset that it is a JOB that I have to do. The idea is that when it is a chore it would take the focus of you (your ego or whatever) onto the work of the composer. I do not exist I'm merely interpreting the composers work.

So... Let's hope that work, if not, oh well I'm gonna get laughed at, AGAIN.
Posted by: Derulux

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/07/13 03:48 PM

Originally Posted By: albynism
Thanks everyone how throwing in some ideas, Derulux if you are in Australia you are welcome to bring in your tomatoes.

That, my friend, is the right mindset. Alas, I am in the United States, but I do have many friends. A couple are on a work exchange in Australia. Let me know where the competition is, and if you happen to see anything bright red flying through the air, do remember to duck. wink
Posted by: wouter79

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/07/13 04:01 PM

Job to do, right mind set? I don't believe this.

A job sounds like 'lets play the notes and be done with it'. Hope I get this wrong?

IMHO the right mind set is that both you and the listeners are enjoying the music. Music is more than what the composer wrote down.
Posted by: Derulux

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/07/13 04:49 PM

Originally Posted By: wouter79
Job to do, right mind set? I don't believe this.

A job sounds like 'lets play the notes and be done with it'. Hope I get this wrong?

IMHO the right mind set is that both you and the listeners are enjoying the music. Music is more than what the composer wrote down.

You need to use whatever mechanism and mindset will work for you. If what he does works for him, then it is not wrong. wink
Posted by: fizikisto

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/07/13 05:03 PM

Wouter,
Did you read the OP? Albynism is nerve wracked by the prospect of this "competition." That will make enjoying the playing rather difficult. Sometimes, one simply has to do unpleasant things in life, and on those occasions an "I have a job to do" mindset will help you get through them.

Albynism, In a perfect world Wouter is absolutely right, but you're not living in that world at the moment it would seem. So your suggestion seems like a reasonable approach to me. But if I may humbly make a suggestion, you might consider making that become part of your world a worthwhile goal. By all means, do what you need to be successful at this, and do it again and again until you build enough confidence to say, "yeah, playing in public makes me nervous, but I've got this." When you have confidence, enjoyment can come, and you'll be amazed at how much better and more expressively you can play when you're really enjoying it. It's a positive feedback loop. Success breeds more success.

So no matter what happens at the actual recital in terms of your playing, find the success. And I should point out that if you go through with it, you've already succeeded by facing your fear. That is worthwhile. If you think of it that way, you'll have a built in success to further build on no matter what happens when you sit down to play. There's actually no such thing as success or failure, there are only results. Success and failure are how we choose to interpret results, how we choose to give them meaning. You're playing for you, not for them. So you get to define success any way you want. Find what you did well, what you succeeded at, find ways you can improve, and never give up.

Someone on this forum has a quote in their sig that I adore (I apologize to that person, I can't remember who to attribute it to). The quote is something like,

"Amateurs practice until they can play a piece without making a mistake. Professionals practice until they can't make a mistake."

Much wisdom there IMO.

Warm Regards
Posted by: dmd

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/07/13 06:05 PM

Originally Posted By: albynism
Thanks everyone how throwing in some ideas, Derulux if you are in Australia you are welcome to bring in your tomatoes.

After reading everyone comment I formulated a plan:

I'm trying a different trick this time, I'm going to perform with the mindset that it is a JOB that I have to do. The idea is that when it is a chore it would take the focus of you (your ego or whatever) onto the work of the composer. I do not exist I'm merely interpreting the composers work.

So... Let's hope that work, if not, oh well I'm gonna get laughed at, AGAIN.


Two things ...

First ... you can come up with any sort of mind games you wish to help you get through this. If it works, great.

But, be mindful of the fact that the biggest factor in all of this will be how well you have prepared yourself with practice, practice, practice ...

You should absolutely practice it to a point where you can almost carry on a conversation while you are playing it.

That way, you know you did your absolute best and will have no regrets. Also, if you do freeze up you will have a much better chance of recovering and continuing on.


And Second ... No one is going to LAUGH at you. Get that out of your mind. They are cheering for you. They want you to succeed. They admire your courage. They are happy for you when you finish successfully.

If you do this, try to enjoy it. Otherwise, what's the point.

P.S. WE are pulling for you too. Let us know how it went.
Posted by: Charles Cohen

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/07/13 08:27 PM

Many years ago, I took some tennis classes. We had occasional informal "tournaments" against other clubs. Participants were in different "skill groups".

My teacher said:

. . . Sometimes, you're going to face an opponent _whom you cannot beat_.
. . . When that happens, keep cool, play as well as you can, and
. . . learn from what he does.

That was a useful hint.

Against talented, well-trained kids, an adult beginner is severely handicapped. That's just "how the world is", and everyone understands it. So give up thoughts of "competition" -- you're not going to "win"!

For _you_, it's a chance to play for other people, and that's worth doing. Pick something that's _easier_ than your "hardest piece", and that you really enjoy playing, and do your best with it.

[This advice is worth what you paid for it . . . ]

. Charles
Posted by: albynism

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/07/13 08:49 PM

The idea came about when I was watching an interview with a concert pianist. This guy does about 80 concerts a year. He said something like when he plays for himself it is different from when he is performing for others. So I took it that when he is performing he switches to "work mode" and when he plays for himself he is much more relaxed. I don't think you can ever be truly relaxed when performing in front of large audience, so there has to be a trick/mind games/mindset you need to put on to overcome that.

Let's see, if you were to stand still in a crowded place with a pineapple on your head you would be embarrassed right? But if it was your job, you get paid to do it and people are expecting you with a pineapple on your head, it would be less embarrassing. Am I right?

Anyway that was the worst analogy I can think of.

Thanks everyone for your input, all read and appreciated.
Posted by: albynism

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/07/13 08:58 PM

And yes I entered this competition with no intention of "winning" just an opportunity to perform. I told my teacher and she just said "oh you never know, you might win something..."
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/07/13 09:07 PM

Call it the Pineapple Competition. grin
Posted by: albynism

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/07/13 09:26 PM

I am very very competitive when it comes to pineapples.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/07/13 09:50 PM

First place goes to...
the Pineapple!
Posted by: jdw

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/07/13 10:12 PM

You might want to look at Kenny Werner's book Effortless Mastery. He has practices that can help you train yourself to shift the focus away from yourself and self-consciousness about performance, back to being in the music. I've gotten a lot of help from this with performance anxiety.
Posted by: albynism

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/07/13 10:40 PM

Will look that up! Thanks.
Posted by: albynism

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/07/13 11:10 PM

Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
First place goes to...
the Pineapple!


Hmm..let me think of a good comeback to that. In the meantime the pineapple can enjoy its moment of glory.
Posted by: PattyP

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/08/13 12:07 AM

alby, you've gotten lots of advice but I'm going to stick my 2 cents in, anyway.

If your goal is to be able to play in public, this event is a step to that. However, if that is not a goal, I'd tell my teacher in no uncertain terms that I will not perform in any type of recital/competition/public display of humiliation, ever. But, that's just me. You're the boss and IMO, recitals are more for the teachers than the students as a method of free advertising. Some instructors may disagree with me, and that's okay. These are just my opinions.

If you really want to learn to play in front of people without getting the heeby jeebies, try starting out with something much less threatening than a recital, like visiting a nearby senior living center and practice on their piano. Make it fun for yourself. I'll bet the residence will love it and they won't care a hoot about bloopers.
Posted by: rnaple

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/08/13 03:49 AM

Originally Posted By: albynism
And yes I entered this competition with no intention of "winning" just an opportunity to perform. I told my teacher and she just said "oh you never know, you might win something..."


Sounds like your teacher thinks you got something? Also thinks maybe you learned from your last experience?

I don't mean to argue with the concert pianist mentioned. Remember that book I suggested? That woman has been a concert pianist. Also teacher. Mostly she works with accomplished performers who have injuries. Accomplished people having other problems also. She gives examples of great performers and what they do to be relaxed and at home, so to speak, in the environment of performing. I think you will find it extremely interesting. If you read the book.

I'll also give you an example of mine. I have written this here before. When I was a kid I played two instruments in band at school. Didn't play piano then. My band director asked me to do a solo at contest. I accepted. We were there. All the kids were coming out of their solo's saying: "Oh she's tough! I crashed!" By the time my chance came, I was all nervous. I went in there trying to play all perfect and nervous. Even though the judge acted very relaxed and personable. Somehow, something seemed to sweep through there and just knocked me out, four bars into the solo. I stopped. Then knowing I had blown it. I started again, and played like I played at home. Had nothing to lose. Even at the end. I threw in a litte toot toot te toot. What the heck. I had nothing to lose. Right?
Well... I left the room and went out and sat under a tree. Waited to go home. After a while. My band director came up to me and said: "You won! You got a first rating!" I looked at him rather strange. He said: "Go on up to the judging table and get your medal!" So I got up and went to the table. A lady handed me a medal and my judging paper. I ignored the medal and opened the judging sheet. Scrawled all across the paper in big big letters was: "I ENJOYED IT" Now I was really bewildered. I had to think about this. I stopped four bars into this. And I got a first rating. I checked around. Wasn't able to find any other kids from any of the other schools who got a first rating on a solo. No others from mine did. There were quartets and such who got some first ratings. But no solo! Just me??? Why??? I thought about how my band director loved music. He was a very straight person. But when the music started, it was like he turned on. Loved music. I thought about the judge herself. I thought about some of the other kids I knew. One in particular was great at playing the notes perfect, but often times it wasn't music. What I learned that day was that the judge wanted music. She didn't give a diddily about a mistake. She wanted music!
Now people really don't care a diddily about mistakes. They want music. They don't want to endure a perfect performance that isn't music. They want music! You ain't gonna do this if you're nervous. Worrying about mistakes.
If you go out there and give them music. You will knock their socks off! They won't care if you make a mistake or two. You give them music and you've won!
I might add... People who are all worried about mistakes and perfect copy. Music hasn't started to occur to them.
Posted by: landorrano

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/08/13 04:29 AM

Lovely story, Rmaple. A great read!
Posted by: rnaple

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/08/13 06:56 AM

Thank you landorrano...

I'd like to share another example on the biggest scale.

Many people don't care for classical. I'm not that crazy about much classical in general. However, there is one conductor who changed me entirely. Do an experiment for yourself....

Go get a copy of a Symphony doing Beethoven's 9th Symphony. Just the last/4th part. It's popularly called: Ode to Joy.

Now listen to that. I guarantee. Any symphony besides one. I personally will think not much of it. Anybody asks and I would say it's good. I will patronize their efforts.

Then...go get yourself a copy of Seiji Ozawa doing Beethoven's 9th. Just listen to: Ode to Joy. It will knock your socks off. It is a fantastic piece of music. Seiji gets it!

There is a world of difference between Seiji and everyone else. Why? I'm afraid the classical world is filled with people trying too hard to do perfect copy. They fail to make it music. They fail to recognize the intent, the heart of the music.
Posted by: albynism

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/08/13 08:24 AM

Thanks got sharing Ron, very inspiring read.
Posted by: landorrano

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/08/13 09:31 AM

Originally Posted By: rnaple
I'm afraid the classical world is filled with people trying too hard to do perfect copy. They fail to make it music. They fail to recognize the intent, the heart of the music.


This story is as banal as the other was nice. You should have quit while you were ahead!
Posted by: keystring

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/08/13 10:41 AM

Originally Posted By: landorrano

This story is as banal as the other was nice. You should have quit while you were ahead!

I'm trying to understand your advice. Are you saying that rnaple should have stopped doing something while a young student? Or are you saying that he should not have told us the story that most of us found fascinating in its entirety?
Posted by: landorrano

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/08/13 10:52 AM

Hi Keystring.
Posted by: keystring

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/08/13 11:05 AM

Originally Posted By: landorrano
Hi Keystring.

Hi landorrano. smile
Posted by: Roger Ransom

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/08/13 11:06 AM

Originally Posted By: Gigantoad
What's the benefit of a competition to begin with? Music should never be a competition. If this will help you get over the fear of performing in public, fine. But then I would ask: do you even want to perform in public? Do you have plans to make this your job later on? Otherwise I see no benefit and no reason for you to suffer at all.


+1
Posted by: albynism

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/08/13 01:19 PM

Yes I want to be able to perform in public, maybe not a job, but if there is a piano somewhere in a hotel or a bar then Yes I want to play them. smile
Posted by: rnaple

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/08/13 06:16 PM

Originally Posted By: landorrano

This story is as banal as the other was nice. You should have quit while you were ahead!


To be honest. I'm not sure how to take that?
Is it that everyone already knows all about Seiji?
Posted by: rnaple

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/08/13 06:23 PM

Originally Posted By: albynism
Yes I want to be able to perform in public, maybe not a job, but if there is a piano somewhere in a hotel or a bar then Yes I want to play them. smile


That caused me to think of the Big Bang Theory show. Where Penny gets Sheldon drunk without him knowing. He plays the keyboard in the bar and sings.
Maybe it's because??? All you have to do is get drunk and you won't care??? Seems to work for millions of karaoke fans. ????
Posted by: SAnnM AB-2001

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/08/13 07:07 PM

I think alcohol messes with your coordination....don't know about you but I need all the coordination I can get!!. After one glass of wine ...maybe.... More than 1 or 2??

I haven't read all the posts but I'd go for it! What's the worst that coud happen? I have a practice buddy that even signed up for a sight reading-bee. No one else did however so it didn't happen but she takes all the opportunity she can and it really makes a difference in her playing.......I still don't have the nerve but if my teacher wanted me to play in a recital I think it would be a great motivator to polish and perform!!
Posted by: Oongawa

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/08/13 10:23 PM

chances are that the only person in the room who will know that piece as well as you is the teacher.

The kids probably haven't played it. The adults are mostly listening just to their kid.

Unless you trip on your way across the stage, 5 minutes after it's over you will be the only one who remembers the details.

Practice well and go for it. You'll be fine or your teacher wouldn't have suggested it.
Posted by: albynism

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/09/13 06:50 AM

had my lesson today. Teacher confirmed she put me in two categories *gasp*! Open age Two contrasting work. And open age romantic work. So it means I will have to prepare three pieces... Within a month! I can play two fairly well, the other one will need a LOT of work. Better start practicing.
Thanks everyone for the inspiring stories and motivation
I let you know how it goes.
Posted by: wouter79

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/09/13 06:56 AM

Prepare 3 pieces in 1 month?? I would suggest instead to relax on this and take only pieces that you already know, and polish them in that month ;-)
Posted by: kapelli

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/09/13 07:34 AM

Originally Posted By: wouter79
Prepare 3 pieces in 1 month?? I would suggest instead to relax on this and take only pieces that you already know, and polish them in that month ;-)


100% agree
you should be fine with them and play without thinking "oh what is the next bar" etc

->albynism
go there and just play it. don't think about the COMPETITION. just treat it as public performance. Try to realax and play.
I know it's easy to say, but as I have little stage experience, I alwasy worried about my playing, and I was about 5 year older in my piano school than other kids and I felt very strangely and non-comfortable being 19 while other were 12 laugh

But if it's open age I think there will be a lot of adults.

Unfortunately, in Poland the amateur piano playing, competitions etc completely don't exist so there's even no possibility to participate in competition like this, which I would go with smile from ear to ear, just to play for some public the piece that I like a lot and feel confident,
but I can't frown

I play 90% classic also, but in your place I would go without heasitating. Just to being comfortable with stage and public.
Maybe you should speak with your teacher about cancelling one piece?
You should feel comfortable, not stressed.

Go there and have a luck smile
Posted by: fizikisto

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/09/13 08:57 AM

Albynism,
Remember to keep breathing. I've heard that part is important smile. I applaud you for taking on this challenge and stretching yourself as a musician. As I said before, I think that means you've already succeeded. Best wishes to you for a great and productive experience, and a hope that somewhere along the way you find yourself enjoying the process and the results!
Posted by: landorrano

Re: So...my teacher thought it was smart to enroll me in a comp - 03/10/13 04:17 AM

Originally Posted By: albynism
So it means I will have to prepare three pieces... Within a month! I can play two fairly well, the other one will need a LOT of work.


Good morning. One thing for sure: your teacher thinks that you need a push and she is giving it. Sounds like a kind person.

Besides, I'll bet that deep down, in your heart of hearts, you are just dying to play in public!