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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 9:24 pm 
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Location: Germany
Monica, how was your recital? How did you organize it? Did you perform alone? How was the experiment with beta blockers? Which pieces did you play? Who were your audiences?
Tell us!!!

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"The love for music. The respect for the composer. The desire to express something that reaches and moves the listener." (Montserrat Caballé about her main motivation for becoming a singer)


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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 4:36 am 
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I organize a recital every year - the audience is all neighbors. We usually have around 120 people so I have to rent a large room at one of our libraries that has a piano. It's the type of recital where players just play one piece and then it's the next person's turn. I always perform last and usually do not play that well because of my nervousness. No matter how well I know the piece, it's the same story. This time I played one of Mompou's Cancions & Danzas. I have it memorized and it went better than usual because of the beta blockers. I am happy to report that they worked!

p.s. I was sometimes a soprano, sometimes a second soprano, and sometimes an alto. It depended on where the director needed me since I could read music and find the pitch.

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 4:26 pm 
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It must be nice having musical neighbors. Or at least appreciative of music. People around here are totally backward in that respect. I guess that's what you get for living out in the boonies.

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 5:43 pm 
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techneut wrote:
It must be nice having musical neighbors. Or at least appreciative of music. People around here are totally backward in that respect. I guess that's what you get for living out in the boonies.


Yes, I live in a rather large town. But the neighbors at this recital attended because I collected some money from each of them (or tried to). Costs me $225 to put this recital together and I got about $110 from the group. Oh well....every year I say I'm not going to do it anymore, but then I do. So basically I pay to make myself a nervous wreck. :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 12:17 am 
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pianolady wrote:
Yes, I live in a rather large town. But the neighbors at this recital attended because I collected some money from each of them (or tried to). Costs me $225 to put this recital together and I got about $110 from the group. Oh well....every year I say I'm not going to do it anymore, but then I do. So basically I pay to make myself a nervous wreck. :roll:


What a wonderful thing to do for your community, though... I'd love to be one of your neighbors. :D :wink:

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Though everything else may appear shallow and repulsive, even the smallest task in music is so absorbing, and carries us so far away from town, country, earth, and all worldly things, that it is truly a blessed gift of God.

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 6:24 pm 
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Dear Diary, (that's what I'm calling this blog sort of thing - or just a way to get some things off my chest... )

It just hit me that the competition is exactly four weeks from today. Maybe this is a common malady, but I'm getting a little tired of practicing the same pieces every day. My normal practice time is about 2 to 3 hours each day. But there are days (mostly recently) when much less time is spent. It's like sometimes I think about having to get to the piano to practice, but keep postponing because I know all the hard work there is to do. Have to practice every little thing and drill on certain bars over and over, etc. And then there is still some memorizing that needs to get accomplished. I'm playing three pieces for the first round and have two of them totally memorized, but only 3/4 of the other one. There are about ten measures that just aren't sticking in my brain. We are allowed to use music, though, so guess I'll have just that one page on the piano and look up at it when I get to the spot. Hope that's not too weird...

My second round pieces are a lot longer and although I've been practicing them very hard, I doubt I can get them memorized. One of them is maybe half-way memorized just from the fact of practicing it a gazillion times. I did memorized two of the pages on purpose though because it's too hard to look back and forth between the keys and the score. Wish I could get the whole thing in memory.

My third round pieces I have not spent much time on at all. It's doubtful that I will make it even passed the first round. But my thinking is that it could be possible that everybody else does not play so great on the first round and so I miraculously advance to the second round. Okay, it's a long-shot, but it can't hurt to dream... But now what if everyone (except me) in the second round plays poorly and another miracle occurs and I advance to the third and final round? I know, I know...that's not going to happen, but IF it does, I think I will say 'no thank you'. I'm not totally sure if one can even do that, but the thing is that I'm not sure I can get my final round pieces up to the same level as the other pieces in my first and second rounds.

So..that's all...I should really get to the piano now. Time to try for the hundredth time to memorize that one spot. But I so much want to play something different! I've got all this newly acquired music sitting on my piano and I'm dying to play it, but any time spent trying to learn it is time I should use on my competition pieces. Makes me feel guilty, sad, nervous, scared, bummed out... I dunno - guess I just need someone or something to give me some sort of 'kick in the pants'. At least I still enjoy my competition pieces - that's something. Just wish I had them all down 100% right now! And I'm not complaining - I very much want to be doing this competition. Still have to go shopping for some new dresses, though. That's on next week's agenda. Have an appointment at the salon in a couple weeks too - may go with a radically new hairstyle, or maybe not, we'll see. I usually chicken out and don't do something as bold as that. But I never thought I'd enter a piano competition either and now look...

Ok, I mean it this time - I'm really going to go practice now...

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 9:54 pm 
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Dear Diary,

Never thought it would happen, but today I played through that one trouble spot - by memory!! Very happy about that since I've been trying and trying...The only thing is that it's not really in my head, just finger (muscle) memory, which is probably not the best thing. Hope it stays there. Also, the earlier part of the piece which I thought I had pretty well memorized was pretty messy today. Slips and memory lapses galore! Still needs a lot more work...

One other bright spot - my really, really hard piece is coming along. I can tell because I'm beginning to space out while playing it. Meaning, I start to daydream and think about someone (today was someone on PS :) ) while I'm playing. I can only do that when I know the notes really well!

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

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


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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 1:37 pm 
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It's a three-day holiday weekend so I have not had as much time to practice. While I did go through all my pieces yesterday, the one with the memory problem is still a bit 'iffy'. Seems it's getting worse rather than getting better. But I know that's because it's not quite there yet, although it is getting close. The problem now, though, is that I have a lot of pain not only in my usual place (wrists) but now it's in my fingers - the bones. A little worried about that. Have family coming over today for another cook-out so that keeps me off the piano again, which gives my hands/fingers some rest. And tomorrow I start shopping for clothes. More rest for my hands, but not for my wallet!

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:27 am 
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T minus three weeks....

Had a lesson tonight. I played pretty badly. But my teacher had many great suggestions on where I can improve - and really I just need to knuckle down and practice my fingers off these next three weeks. This week I was too busy shopping and I still need to do one more shopping trip tomorrow. Argh - I hate shopping! Takes soooo long and I've spent a lot of money so far. At least I will return half of the dresses after the competition, since I probably won't need/wear them. So that's about it for now...

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:54 am 
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T minus two weeks. I'm getting pretty excited.... :)

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 3:08 am 
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Location: Texas,USA
Good luck Monica. Wish you all the best!!!

As far as practicing, don't overdo it. 3 hours a day is fine, but don't forget to take 5 minutes break each hour.
Also, when you go to the competition, go with the mind of a winner.

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 3:50 am 
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Thank you very much, Avguste! :D I really can't believe that it's only one week away now. It used to seem like it was so far away...

I'm practicing like the dickens these days! But I found out that a lot of the competitors are people who have been in several competitions already. One of them was second place at the Van Cliburne Amateur Competition, some others at the Boston, others at some Asian competitions - it's like there is this group of pianists who go around entering competitions all over the place. I had no idea! And I doomed!!! But that's okay - I'm still giving it my best shot and try to remember to just enjoy myself and take in the experience. Who knows, maybe I'll do this again someday (if I survive this one :lol: ).

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:36 am 
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Location: Germany
Hi Monica, best wishes from me, too :D!!!!
You know, you are to me the pioneer, who does it for the first time among my amateur music friends! So I cheer for you most heartfeltly :!:
And don't forget, also the people who already won prizes somewhere had to go through the first fluttering experience before!
When is the first round? I'll mark the day on my calendar and think of you :D

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"The love for music. The respect for the composer. The desire to express something that reaches and moves the listener." (Montserrat Caballé about her main motivation for becoming a singer)


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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 5:12 pm 
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I'm cheering you on too, Monica! You can do it! As I remember, one of the finalists or semi-finalists in the last Cliburn Amateur had never played for anyone or any audience other than her fourth-grade school class that she taught. Just have lots of fun. :D

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Though everything else may appear shallow and repulsive, even the smallest task in music is so absorbing, and carries us so far away from town, country, earth, and all worldly things, that it is truly a blessed gift of God.

Felix Mendelssohn


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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 9:01 pm 
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Good luck, Monica!

I will never be able to enter any competitions. I'm too old for the normal ones, and since I am working on a piano performance degree, I am not eligible for the amateur competitions. :(

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