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 Post subject: how not to be frighten onstage
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 10:06 am 
hello everybody

can you tell me how can i not be frightened on stage in a performance but be relax?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 11:03 am 
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Oh boy. This is a huge topic for me and hardly know where to begin. I think I may be quite a bit older than you and dealt with stage fright better when I was young. But of course everybody is different. Mine has gotten worse lately - so much so that I'm getting ready to try something for the very first time- prescription medicine (just got the prescription filled yesterday) Hopefully you don't need to go to that extreme. One way to really help, though, is to be very confident that your music is so well learned that you don't worry about it.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 1:28 pm 
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Location: Obamanation, unfortunately...
See the glass as half empty!

Say to yourself, "You know what!? You suck! You will mess up!" When you lower your expectations and humble yourself, your nervousness will go down. But do not over-do the negativity because it will actually come true...you will mess up.

Or do what Rubinstein did, pick a lady in the audience and concentrate solely on her. Eliminate the crowd except for her. Play the piano like you are playing it for the lady. This is like the cliche of "picturing people in their underwear".


I too get stage-freight. It's not that I don't want to be on stage, rather, I become "warm" because of executing the piece. So I have a tendency to lift my left leg so it hits the underside of the piano, and I really do not concentrate on the music that I am playing, I am concentrating more on what note comes next! Something that every pianist should not do! ...I know this because I fouled up once during Chopin's prelude #15 (i forgot how to play the first page!!!!!)


In short: humble your expectations, believe that nobody cares, find that woman in the audience, and relax.

I know this won't help much,

-Juuf

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 Post subject: Adrenal Glands
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 4:57 pm 
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Hi

Nervousness is caused by the fight/flight hormone called "epinephrine" that is excreted from the adrenal glands. Here's the great thing, if what I learned is really true and research has not yet disproved it. The adrenal glands only have so much epinephrine stored for shooting out, until they are temporarily depleted. So the advice to not be nervous and to take your mind off of your performance until you actually hit the stage, can be very bad for those of us prone to nervousness. You may end up successfully staying calm all day, but then all of that stored adrenaline is more likely to hit you all at once on stage and your performance could go seriously whacky from it.

So unless you are one of the few who can mentally train yourself to stay calm not only up to, but during the actual performance, or take a mild anti-anxiety pill, I've learned you have two ways to deplete this adrenaline prior to the performance. They are through physical strenuous exercise earlier that day and/or through mentally working yourself into as much of a nervous wreck as is humanly possilble starting AT LEAST 2 hours prior to the performance. Deplete the adrenaline from the adrenals, and then there will not be enough of that nasty performance-hindering adrenaline left by showtime to make your body physically react (i.e. blurred vision, shaky fingers, heart racing, even mild nausea) to the worried thoughts on stage, at least not to the extent that they could really blow a well-prepared performance.
-Nicole in Canada


Last edited by Nicole on Tue May 20, 2008 2:09 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 9:24 am 
but can you detail how can i deplete the adreneline?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 9:34 am 
and if i do that tiring exercise before the recital i think i go very tired in the recital which i think will annoy me


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 12:35 pm 
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Hi again, Stephen

Good point regarding the possibility of getting too tired by the time the performance begins! I guess it depends on the degree of stage fright that you experience, as to whether you'd want to try the adrenaline depletion idea I read about. But if you do try it, from what I understand it is either by temporarily physically exerting yourself to expel some adrenaline earlier that day, by running around to get your heart beat up pretty high for about 30 minutes a few hours before the performance (not weight-lifting to tire your muscles, and not a marathon of running for hours and hours), or by getting really nervous for hours on end before you actually have to play, so that by the time you get to performance, there is very little of that nervousness hormone left.

I'm just looking on the internet about what can happen to an individual's body when adrenaline suddenly shoots out from adrenals during extreme nervousness. Let's hope every item on the list below doesn't happen all at once, or there's no way a person could play even a note!!! But I can see how these unexpected and unwelcome adrenaline-induced phenomenae could really make a piano performance go awry:
-heart pounding sounds in ears
-heart rate increases dramatically
-time is sensed as being in slow-motion
-sweaty and/or trembling hands
-blurred vision
-dizziness
-nausea
-sudden diarrhea
-rapid shallow breathing
-cold hands
-inability to judge distance

Gee, listing this stuff makes me hope that PianoLady lets us know if that prescription ends up working. The above looks pretty unpleasant when you see it in print.

Nicole Muller


Last edited by Nicole on Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 2:42 pm 
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Location: Obamanation, unfortunately...
Stephen Farrugia wrote:
but can you detail how can i deplete the adreneline?



Stand on the railroad tracks of a fast-train (ICE or Bullet Train) and wait until the very last moment to jump out of the way! That'd depleat your adreniline very quickly.

:wink:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 4:10 pm 
thank you nicole

some more efficient methods on depletion of adreneline?

someone?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 4:44 pm 
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Nicole wrote:
Gee, listing this stuff makes me hope that PianoLady lets us know if that prescription ends up working. The above looks pretty unpleasant when you see it in print.


Hi Nicole, It may be awhile before I have anything to report regarding this medicine because I'm kind of afraid to actually take it. It's such a tiny little pill, but who knows what it will do to me. Maybe make me fall asleep on the piano? Although that would be a good show, right? :) Anyway, your ideas are good. I just started reading a book about this subject so if I learn anything new, (and when I try the medicine) I'll let you know.

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 Post subject: Beta Blockers
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 7:12 pm 
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I think the book I read might have been called "The Inner Game of Music" by Barry Green, which talked about how to try to get nervousness out before the performance begins. But if that doesn't work, here is some information from googling "Beta Blockers". I have never tried one, but have taken one ibuprofen (Advil) painkiller an hour before singing an opera exam a few years ago when I felt panic setting in, which seemed to "take the nervous edge off":

Beta blockers - which are cardiac medications, not tranquilizers or sedatives - were first marketed in 1967 in the United States for disorders like angina and abnormal heart rhythms. One of the commonest is propranolol, made here by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and sold under the brand name Inderal. By blocking the action of adrenaline and other substances, these drugs mute the sympathetic nervous system, which produces fear in response to any perceived danger, be it a sabre-toothed tiger or a Lincoln Center audience.

Even the most skillful and experienced musicians can experience this fear. Legendary artists like the pianists Vladimir Horowitz and Glenn Gould curtailed their careers because of anxiety, and the cellist Pablo Casals endured a thumping heart, shortness of breath and shakiness even as he performed into his 90's. Before the advent of beta blockers, artists found other, often more eccentric means of calming themselves. In 1942, a New York pianist charged his peers 75 cents to attend the Society for Timid Souls, a salon in which participants distracted one another during mock performances. Others resorted to superstitious ritual, drink or tranquilizers. The pianist Samuel Sanders told an interviewer in 1980 that taking Valium before a performance would bring him down from wild panic to mild hysteria.

"Before propranolol, I saw a lot of musicians using alcohol or Valium," said Mitchell Kahn, director of the Miller Health Care Institute for the Performing Arts, describing 25 years of work with the Metropolitan Opera orchestra and other groups. "I believe beta blockers are far more beneficial than deleterious and have no qualms about prescribing them."

The little secret in the classical music world - dirty or not - is that the drugs have become nearly ubiquitous. Indeed, the effect of the drugs does seem magical. Beta blockers don't merely calm musicians; they actually seem to improve their performances on a technical level. In the late 1970's, Charles Brantigan, a vascular surgeon in Denver, began researching classical musicians' use of Inderal. By replicating performance conditions in studies at the Juilliard School and the Eastman School in Rochester, he showed that the drug not only lowered heart rates and blood pressure but also led to performances that musical judges deemed superior to those fueled with a placebo.


Nicole Muller


Last edited by Nicole on Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 10:32 pm 
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I've heard of Beta Blockers, but the drug I have is called Xanax. I think it's a kind of tranquilizer. It's also addicting which is why I'm a little scared, but a friend of mine who has the same problem I have has taken this drug at the lowest doseage (the same I have ) and says that it works wonders. So...I'm eager and scared at the same time. You are lucky that a single ibuprofen works for you. I take these two at a time every day for tendonitis but they don't do anything for my nerves.

Thanks a lot for all the information. In a strange way, it's nice to know that so many others have the same problem.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 5:28 am 
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My experiences with stage fright are similar to Monicas experience, in the way that it seesm to me that I could handle that better as a teenager instead 30 years later.
But that can have different reasons. As teenager I was used to play here and there in public because I accompaigned the school choir on piano.

I think the best way to overcome is to get used to play for others. That can be in small steps. For instance I remember my first lesson I got after a gap of 25 years. I had stage fright! With every lesson it got less. What about playing for your family, followed by playing for your friends? In my case it seems to help. You cannot imagine what a stage fright I had in my first church service on organ. The second time went better, and let's see, hopefully it will get better and better next times.

I believe suppressing stage fright is the wrong approach. Better is to try to recognize the effects the stage fright has without fighting against. And always trying to concentrate on the music while playing. The book "The inner game of music" - what I consider as a very good book - deals alot with those problems, as Nicole already stated. Written from someone who knows about what he writes.

I don't have experiences with drugs beside smoking weed and alcohol, but I know that weed worsens the concentration (the danger to loose the thread while playing without score is too large for me). Maybe a glass of red wine is not too bad, especially if one plays before friends and manages that they drink more than itself :wink:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 1:54 pm 
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MindenBlues wrote:

I believe suppressing stage fright is the wrong approach. Better is to try to recognize the effects the stage fright has without fighting against.

You are right about that. The book I just got done reading said basically the same thing. It said not only should you acknowledge your nervous symptoms, but try to intensify them. They will, instead, vanish. Can’t wait to try that one.


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I don't have experiences with drugs beside smoking weed and alcohol, but I know that weed worsens the concentration (the danger to loose the thread while playing without score is too large for me). Maybe a glass of red wine is not too bad, especially if one plays before friends and manages that they drink more than itself


I only smoked pot twice when I was young. The first time – I couldn’t stop laughing for hours. The second time – I couldn’t stop eating. Both times made my stomach hurt afterwards and I decided that was the end of my drug experimentation. Besides, my friends and I were pretty goofy and took plenty of 'walks on the wild side' without drugs. Boy…do I have the stories – never mind.
Alcohol is a different story. I’ve never drank anything before playing in public (except when I was in college and was in a band). I’m sure it wouldn’t work, though, as it makes my playing go downhill. I have to play in another recital in a couple weeks, so I’ll let you know if any of these other ‘techniques’ work.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 9:01 am 
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I just learned of another 'technique' to try. One of my friends suggested hypnosis. Anyone ever try that? I certainly have not. She says it can help and is safer than taking drugs. I'm just afraid that if i do it, I could be sitting at the piano, someone in the audience sneezes and I start barking. Or singing like Ethel Merman , you know the song, "there's no business like show business"
( :lol: cracking myself up)

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 7:47 pm 
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I forgot all about this topic. Alice M - good tip about deciding in advance what you will do.
And if any one wants to know - I tried that prescription medicine at my last recital. It didn't do a thing. :x My heart was pounding just as hard, my hands shook, and I made a couple mistakes in places I never did before. And I was using music! It was the very lowest doseage, though, so I guess I need something stronger. Not sure I will go that next step, or just try dealing with it naturally. I have about five months to decide.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 4:50 am 
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I've been asked to play some Medtner at the Rachmaninoff Society's annual conference. I'm pretty nervous about the whole thing, as I haven't performed in 10 years (at least) and never enjoyed it then either. I think I have to accept that there will be cold hands and shaky arms and missed notes and do it anyway. But boy, just thinking about it makes me nervous.

On the bright side, I'm told Ashkenazy won't be arriving until the following day, so he for sure won't be in the audience. Whew!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 8:13 am 
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Wow, that is a great honor indeed ! How did you get to be singled out for that ?
A nerve racking prospect for sure... but exciting :D

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 9:06 am 
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Probably not well known on this forum is that I am the head of an Elite Committee of Golf where I have a lot contact with the players as well (I have a golf career which I ended 15 years ago). As I both play the piano (and have performed live many many times) and golf, I believe that the same method
can be applied in both areas and I have a few simple but helpful tips. But from preparing well, I would give the following advices.

Before the performance
Do not eat or drink anything with much sugar in as chocolate, Coca-Cola, etc. For sure, you do not need this sugar push this day. Instead, try to be stay low all way through your performance. Do not drink too much coffee for the very same reason. Do not eat anything too close to your performance. Your brain need the blood, not your stomach. I would say not closer than 2 hours. Long before your performance, hide away somewhere and prepare. Don't let anything or anyone interrupt your mind. Keep your concentration on what you are about to do. Do not prepare at the piano with the pieces you are about to play. If you still practice this day, you are way after your schedule. Actually, do not play the pieces at all the very same day as the first performance of the day of a piece you know well is often the best.

One week before the performance, try to be as good as you are able to play the pieces you are about to play 3 times in a row without a single mistake. If you succeed, this will make you very comfortable on stage. If you fail on the last key the 3rd time, restart the session.

On Stage
When you are tensed and nervous, you begin to breath faster and worse, with the upper part of your lounges. When doing is, you push your shoulders a bit upwards which at least in golf has a major impact on the technique of the swing but also on your technique on the piano. In extreme fast breathing, hyper ventilation, you can even faint. But there is a simple method to very much reduce this symptom and that is to breath with your stomach. Not really with your stomach of course but it should feel like you do that. Doing slow breathing with your stomach will within 10 seconds reduce your pulse and your shoulders will lower to a normal position. The difficulty is to remember doing this process when you are nervous so I use to tell my players that this is the ONLY thing they need to remember when they get nervous. 10 seconds of this method and you can go back to normal and avoid a mistake. Once you begin to play, you cannot apply this so it must be done before. Any audience can wait 10 seconds before a pianist begins to play.

Just my few cents on the topic and Schmonz, I wish you my best for the performance and would also like to know how you were able to get this incredible chance! Go for it!

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:15 pm 
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Robert, thanks for the advice! I accepted the invitation and I now have a month and a half to prepare. I need to figure out what to do in order to feel ready; your suggestions are an excellent tee shot.

How did this opportunity come along? It took me by surprise. Earlier in the year, I heard the Rachmaninoff Society was putting on a private performance that included Medtner's G minor sonata. I told the event's organizer why I was joining. Y'all thought I was a big Medtner fan? Her license plate says MEDTNER and the car is a Sonata. We exchanged a few emails about our shared obsession, and that was that.

Well, now the annual conference is coming up, and it's in New York this year, and there's always a recital partly featuring participation from members, and she emailed to say that the program was all Rachmaninov and would I be interested to round it out with some Medtner? I said something to the effect of "That's very nice of you, but how about you hear what I sound like first?", and pointed her here. (Thank you, as always, Piano Society!)

So the short answer is, I inadvertently had the right offhanded conversation with the right Medtner enthusiast several months ago.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:25 pm 
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Location: Obamanation, unfortunately...
I was watching "From the Top" which showcases young, talented musicians (all under 18). There was a boy who played Liszt's Etude in the theme of Paganini (there is a recording here on the site, played by eric helling). Anyways, he said that he eats two bananas before playing and he heard that the potassium in the bananas help curve nervousness.

So eat bananas! (but not too many because they are a high calorie fruit :x )

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 10:26 pm 
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Give practice performances. Do a dress rehearsal, actually dress in whatever clothes in which you'll be giving the recital and play the program through once (as though you had an audience). Record your performance; it adds to the realism. If you can't do that at least two weeks in advance, you are in trouble.

The day of the recital, the trick is to not care what anyone thinks of your playing. I hate to say it, but a little bit of arrogance is a useful tool (perhaps I mean self-confidence). (Of course, never wear it on your sleeve, lest you look like an ass.) A pianist on stage must be sure of his/her worthiness. I guess it all comes down to good old-fashioned hard work in the preceding weeks and months. After you've done ALL the work, then you can walk out and hold your head high.

PLAN YOUR PRACTICE!

Good luck to you Schmonz!

PS to Robert, a very good point about pausing before starting the recital. I saw Helene Grimaud take what seemed like a two minute pause before a concert. Personally, I've taken as long as 45 seconds to begin or sometimes I start playing before my backside hits the bench. Always adjust the bench.

Pete


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2007 8:05 am 
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juufa72 wrote:
I was watching "From the Top" which showcases young, talented musicians (all under 18).

Whoa... they get younger and younger don't they :P

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Yeah...if you're not in Julliard by the time you're potty-trained, you're screwed. :lol:

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Location: Obamanation, unfortunately...
I meant 18 but stupid automatic typing confused the 8 and the ")" right next to it for a 8) face. :twisted:

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Yah I know what you meant, and you got defeated by our incredibly clever software...
But I can never resist an opportunity to take the piss :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: how not to be frighten onstage
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 11:16 pm 
Stephen Farrugia wrote:
hello everybody

can you tell me how can i not be frightened on stage in a performance but be relax?



I'll consider the idea of playing on a stage only if I have 1-2 years to practise 4-5 hours a day.
To play surely and with a few compromises 70-90 minutes of music (much better if without score,
one is much more free so) is IMHO a serious question. I agree at 100% with Robert: if one is not able to play perfectly and surely a recital at his home, for at least 3 times, it's not the case.
I have from 1 to 2 hours X day to study: hypotesis 1-I study for 2 years only the same 5-6 pieces and I'll play them on a stage, hypotesis 2 I study and record (I'm able to play the pieces from thebegin to the end for a few days, and after I begin to play other music and the "old" pieces loses his surely) about all the pieces I will.
As amateur I find this 2nd hypotesis much more interesting and enjoying, and It permit to show
the artistic side (if there is) of my playing. I play at a very modest level, but I would have the desire to public playing only : 1) with my piano or on a piano I know very well and I like
2) with the possibility to play for al least 1/2 hour before the beginning of the concert
3) having many possibilities to play with these conditions (one train himself to face his stress,
and this training has no sense for 2-3 occasions). And I repeat, the fundamental condition
is: to play surely many consecutive times the recital program=many hours of study for many
months+big motivation.
In these days, as when I was a boy, I play in public occasions (1 or 1000 listener, there is no
difference) about as when I play for myself. The anxiety in my case has a weight, but not so heavy to destroy a piece well and surely known (and not magic to make sure the passages so-and-so).
I remember situations when I played well the pieces I knew well, and other situations
where I played so-and-so or worse the pieces I knew so-and-so or worse.
For who will or must to play in public situations, a suggestion of Andor Foldes: To know exaggerately
well the first page and the first difficult passage of each piece. To play these passagges possibly
with closed eyes.

All best,
Sandro

(pianist-recorder, not in the sense of the flute)


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2007 9:50 pm 
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Well, I've done it, and I think it went well. I say "think" because sometime before I went on stage, all the expected nervousness evaporated and was replaced with a strange, semi-lucid mental state. In the green room I began to feel almost like taking a nap when I was called out. I sat down and my thought process went like so: "Oh, here's a piano. Neat. Big one, too. I know something I can play. Here you go." I know it felt good under the hands, with a few small mistakes of course, but I have no idea how it sounded and won't know until they send me the video. :-)

I don't really need to perform again for a while, but if that's what performing can often feel like, I can see why people become performers. I enjoyed it very much.

Thank you all again for your suggestions on how to prepare. Every last one of them helped.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 1:47 pm 
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Congratulations! It sounds like you were able to perform well under pressure and that is a very valuable quality. I hope you are equally satisfied when the video arrives.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 1:35 pm 
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Bah! My performance was recorded onto a dud DVD (all the other DVDs from that day are fine). I've contacted the audio engineer to see if at least some audio is available.


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I don't know if anyone has mentioned this in this long thread, but if I concentrate on the music and communicating the music to others, then the music is not about myself, but about the music, and my nervousness dwindles. Of course, there is excitement, but that can be helpful in doing one's best for the music. So I guess what I mean here is that if I don't focus on what others think of me and my playing, but on the music itself and my desire to express it, then whatever nervousness remains can be applied to the intensity of expressing the music.
I used to play a lot at an assisted living where the folks didn't care about a few mistakes. They were just so delighted to have live music that they were listening intently to whatever I could express through it. Also, it helps to have the notes in front of me instead of relying on my memory. Of course, I could intend to play from memory but the music was there in case I forgot or got distracted.
Mozartiana


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 Post subject: Re: how not to be frighten onstage
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 12:59 pm 
Stephen Farrugia wrote:
hello everybody

can you tell me how can i not be frightened on stage in a performance but be relax?


Maybe you should read this book once :?: :
The Inner Game of Music by Barry Green and W. Timothy Gallwey


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 6:45 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 7:27 pm
Posts: 194
Quote:
Maybe you should read this book once :
The Inner Game of Music by Barry Green and W. Timothy Gallwey


This book is one of the best I have ever read. Within one day of reading a few chapters
it had actually helped me tackle my AADD when playing, seriously helped to quiet all the
distractions in my head when trying to concentrate on music. It is also a very easy read.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 10:10 am 
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Posts: 13
The more fear you successfully overcome the more exhilarating your performance will be. You will never eliminate fear before a performance and you shouldn't. Instead, talk to yourself beforehand and build up your confidence/passion/willpower/intensity until it outweighs the fear you feel.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:33 pm 
ben wrote:
You will never eliminate fear before a performance and you shouldn't.


:?: I have never really been frightened on stage. Actually I feel more frightened without the stage and especially if there is just one person listening and if this person knows a lot about music. I know you will think that's really weird, but it's true... So I'm weird. :P

ben wrote:
Instead, talk to yourself beforehand and build up your confidence/passion/willpower/intensity until it outweighs the fear you feel.


:wink: Just concentrate, hear the beautiful music you will play... I you start playing after that, you won't even see the audience, it's just you and your music...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:21 am 
Eating bananas?? haha. :D

hi, people. im new here =D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:37 am 
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Location: Netherlands
abimopectore wrote:
:?: I have never really been frightened on stage. Actually I feel more frightened without the stage and especially if there is just one person listening and if this person knows a lot about music. I know you will think that's really weird, but it's true... So I'm weird. :P

Not sure if you're weird, but you've got a point there. If you play for multiple persons, they are likely to applaud even if you made mistakes. If you play for one, (s)he's likely to tell you what you did wrong or could have done better :wink:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:36 pm 
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Posts: 1278
I get afraid about three months before a recital (right about now). I'm performing Beethoven Sonatas 12, 13 and 14 in May and I'm petrified. (Because #12 and #13 are a mess and I can't see the way out of it.)

I'll get over it.

I guess I'm in the habit of being genuinely frightened far in advance (not in the "my house is on fire" sort of way but in the "oh my God, we're moving to another country next month" kind of way) so that by the time a recital comes around, I'm just too damned tired to care.

Oh my achin' back!
:lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 8:13 pm 
Ever notice how children playing don't seem to be phased by the audience? They are just doing it without any expectation weighing on them, even when a mistake is made, they back up a bar and repeat and keep going.

As adults, we feel that world is watching and judging, and by now we should be perfect, and if not, we have wasted ours and everyones time all these years. When we practice, we play invincibly, and always think what if they could see me now?

Its a challenge to put yourself back into a child-like mentality and have a care-free attitude about your playing for others. You have to really reach and look at the big picture of what's going on. Your piano playing for an audience is not the beginning nor the end of the world. You have to almost pretend you are just sitting down for a practice, be loose and relaxed, make a quick wink at the audience to create the connection, and they will feel relaxed with you. Even crack a quick comment if the occassion allows. This is a big ice breaker out of an otherwise stiff and overly proper profession.

I get nervous watching ice skaters, because i KNOW they will fall on a triple loop during the program, and I wonder what are they thinking now? I've blown it? They are all laughing? No. The crowd understands, they appreciate all the work and practice, and will still applaud the effort. Just keep smiling.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:49 am 
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Posts: 15
Location: Minnesota, United States
A few points I keep in mind for performances:

1. Expect to make a mistake - and forgive yourself for it! If you're thinking about the past mistake, you're going to make more!

2. The more you do it......

3. BREATH! Oxygen in your body can help control finger trembles and shakiness. Do a few stretches and deep breaths before going on.

4. In practicing - I try to be as much in my 'performance mindset' as possible; in performing - I try to be as much in my 'practice mindset' as possible! (In other words I try to play the same every time, rather practicing or performing!)

5. FOCUS on transmitting the beauty of the music to the audience - not presenting yourself.


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