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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 11:30 am 
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As said, all went fine after that. I usually get back in the groove quickly even after mistakes.
Also last year I performed at my organ teacher's annual pupil concert and produced some pretty weird bars in Bach's first trio sonata (which I should not really have performed at all yet, to be honest) and he complimented me about playing straight through the mistakes as if nothing had happened. It was a bit scary though. Same teacher also tipped me about only performing something once you find it really easy. Now that takes discipline, as one always want to show off a difficult piece just learnt !

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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 12:04 pm 
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But did he mean perform an easy piece, or wait to perform a certain piece until you know it so well that it has become easy? I think next time I may have to play an 'easy' piece.

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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 12:46 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
But did he mean perform an easy piece, or wait to perform a certain piece until you know it so well that it has become easy? I think next time I may have to play an 'easy' piece.

The latter, obviously. An 'easy' piece may still be difficult if you do not know it well enough. And a 'hard' piece may become rather easy once you know it well enough and your technical level is far above it. I think the idea is to be totally comfortable with a piece before performing it.

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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 4:13 pm 
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Dear Lovely One,

What the devil is the matter with you , berating yourself like that? Both I and my friend who just watched and heard you thought it was excellent! The litttle mistakes were utterly trivial and really didn't detract from the performance. when I showed your message to my knowledgeable friend, he said the best cure for performance anziety is to perform a lot! I hertily agree!


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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 6:31 pm 
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techneut wrote:
I think the idea is to be totally comfortable with a piece before performing it.


I was.

rsmullyan wrote:
What the devil is the matter with you , berating yourself like that?


Because I can play the piece so much better than I did here. And this always happens. I have never performed a piece in public perfectly, and this time I was sure that I had the piece down and would have no problems. It's like I am cursed! If only I could put a curtain in front of the piano and not see any audience.

Raymond, have you ever had a bad performance at the piano, or maybe a funny one?

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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 7:07 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
If only I could put a curtain in front of the piano and not see any audience.

Take up playing organ. Nobody sees you unless maybe when they stand up, turn around, and crane their necks. And even then they can't see what the heck you're actually doing :lol:

But seriously, just go on feeling sorry for yourself. Maybe it helps. :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 9:34 pm 
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techneut wrote:
pianolady wrote:
If only I could put a curtain in front of the piano and not see any audience.

Take up playing organ. Nobody sees you unless maybe when they stand up, turn around, and crane their necks. And even then they can't see what the heck you're actually doing :lol:


Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. 8)


techneut wrote:
But seriously, just go on feeling sorry for yourself. Maybe it helps. Mr. Green


Hey, don't take away all my fun! :lol: Besides, "It's my party and I'll cry if I want to, cry if I want to, cry if I want to." :lol: :lol: :lol: (song lyrics)

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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 9:57 pm 
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Raymond, have you ever had a bad performance at the piano, or maybe a funny one?
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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 3:02 pm 
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rsmullyan wrote:
A more realistic question to ask is whether I have ever had a good performance!


Hit the nail on the head! Maybe something like that ought to be engraved on my tombstone. :lol:

A harbinger of things to come was my first experience with stage fright at eight years old. I was playing for a special event at a church, and had a nice little showy piece picked out that I thought I knew thoroughly (yeah, I’d known it about three weeks). Well, the moment of truth came; the (un)expected happened. Yours truly blundered halfway through the silly piece and came to a standstill. I gritted my teeth and started over from the beginning. I got to the same place where I’d flubbed earlier and, again, the last half of the piece fled my memory. Again I started over. Believe it or not, that happened six times, and each time I got more and more agitated. On the seventh try I closed my eyes and barreled through the mind block and made it to the other side.

I was never asked to play at that church again.

A more recent, and no less embarrassing, event happened about a year ago. A gentleman from our church asked my to play a little mini-concert at a going-away party he was hosting for some of our friends. I said yes. Mistake number one. Mistakes numbers two through five hundred I made during the sick performance. On this occasion, I played a d minor arpeggio in C major, hit every stray note in the book, and got so tense that I twisted up on the first notes of a grand, sweeping, spellbinding cascade so that it simply sounded like a grand, sweeping, spellbinding tangle of mass mayhem.

He never requested my services again either.

So, I’ll be playing for a group of my compadres next weekend. I think I know how I’ll do, too – definitely won’t be an award-winning performance!


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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 3:24 pm 
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I am reminded of the following story: An opera singer sang an encore and everyone applauded, so she sang it again, and everyone applauded, and this happened seven times. She then said : " I'm not going to sing it again ! " To which one man shuted : " Yes, you will sing it again and again until you learn it ! "


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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 4:45 pm 
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That is really funny! :lol: I would just hate to be the opera singer.


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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 5:37 pm 
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Oh, Sarah. I feel your pain! :lol:

I once saw a little boy at a recital play halfway through his piece and then had a 'brain freeze' and stopped playing. He started over around six or seven times too but never did get to the end. He just gave up and walked back to his seat. Poor kid. If I wasn't sitting so far away at the time, I would have walked over to the piano to see if I could help him.

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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 7:23 pm 
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Another embarassing moment of mine:

I was supposed to be accompanying my school's chorus at a special mass in front of prominent members of the Boston Archdiocese.

And I learned the hard way that day, that I'm not good at accompanying people.

I was never able to actually learn the actual keyboard part. Rather, I had learned (as instructed by my teacher, due to the large quantity of works in such a short time frame) the melody and then improvised with the left hand. It always was fine at home whenever I practiced. But when I actually played with them that day... within 5 measures of the first piece, all improvisational abilities disappeared. I couldn't even focus enough to read the chord progressions in the sheet music and just play those. My left hand completely dropped out, and the entire mass was nothing but a simple little melody played by my right hand, no harmonies whatsoever.

I was ready to completely give up public performance after that one...

Thank goodness I'll never have to accompany again, as next time I'll simply refuse to do it.

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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 11:46 pm 
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Monica, I know how you feel...the only way to get over this fear of playing on stage is to do it as often as you can.

I totally bombed a performance a couple of weeks ago - I was accompanying a voice student in her departmental recital class, which meant that all 100 or so voice majors and the voice faculty were there, and she was doing a Brahms song that I was not really prepared to play, and I bombed it. It was horrible - she fired me and got a new accompanist. And I think there are two reasons why I bombed her song - 1. I didn't pick the piece, didn't really like it, and therefore couldn't make myself practice it enough, and 2. I get even more nervous playing for other people than I do just playing solo stuff, because I know if I mess up, it reflects on them just as much as on me. I wasn't prepared to play it, but I could have faked it well enough if I hadn't gotten so nervous.

But I've been playing solo stuff in my own departmental recital class (for only about 15 piano majors, most of which are music education majors rather than performance) all semester, and as the semester went on, the nerves got better and better. I can understand not wanting to play in front of people, but the more you do it, the easier it gets, I think. It's also nice if you're positioned in such a way that you can pretend that the audience isn't there!

Anyway, I bet everyone in the voice department would be flabbergasted if I told them I just passed my audition to major in piano performance. :lol: They probably think I'm the most horrible pianist in the world...

There was another accompanist at the voice thing that I saw afterwards, and she told me to just let it roll off my shoulders. She said, "We've all been there before, more than once." And I suppose that's true. Have faith in yourself!

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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 2:30 am 
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Hi Terez,

I like your suggestion about being positioned in a certain way that you can pretend the audience isn't there. I think that goes along with my 'curtain' idea.

Maybe you already know this, but this is what I learned about the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Supposedly, when auditioning for a seat in the orchestra, the person auditioning plays behind a screen. The judges do not see the person, and the person auditioning does not see the judges. The only thing the judges judge is how the candidate sounds, how well he or she plays, etc. How the person looks, what age, male or female, etc.. doesn't matter. Isn't that interesting? Kind of makes me think of the story about how Chopin and Liszt played a trick on an audience - now let me see if I can get this right - I think all the lights (candles?) were put out in the room, and Chopin sat down at the piano and played a piece just like how Liszt would play it, and the audience thought that it was indeed Liszt playing. It could be the other way around, though.

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
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