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Topic: Feeling discouraged  (Read 1705 times)

Offline Kaylia_D.

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Feeling discouraged
on: June 28, 2005, 09:58:29 PM
Hi everyone,

I love playing piano...but hate performing...does that make sense? I hate that feeling of "butterflies" you get just the first few moments before you perform.

Today i had to accompany a choir...and i messed  up.  I just kept blanking out at a certain section of a verse ...all i could do is just wait to rejoin them at the chorus. And then it happned AGAIN same spot. but this time when i tried to rejoin with them i did it too fast ...so they had to try to catch up with me. So i felt like crap for spoiling their moment

I dont know what happened. It could be:

1) Nerves getting the better of me. I knew i practiced the piece because when we had rehearsal it went puuurfect. Does anyone have remedy to getting rid of those nerves?

2) A photographer came and took a photograph of me at that particular point in the piece....but then it happened twice...so not a good excuse

3) i memorized the music...because i did blank out at about the same position in the score. But then i knew the piece like the back of my hand...or so i thought. In any case the reason why i memorised the piece is that its on 8 pages and the piano was in a cramped corner of a church so i didnt want a pager turner sharing that cramped space with me. It could be also that i suck at reading music so that memorising a piece is a good excuse not to read music.


Whatever the reason is why i messed up i dont want it to happen again....i have another performance in a few weeks time what can i do to better prepare myself (assuming that i already know the score) and avoid mistakes. Its in momnets lik these i feel like quit playing the piano. Your advice is greatly appreciated

Kaylia D.

Offline pianonut

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Re: Feeling discouraged
Reply #1 on: June 28, 2005, 10:03:26 PM
the more you perform (and practice) the better you become.  don't quit.  consider it a learning experience.  find a page turner that turns well (another pianist) or xerox your music into smaller pages and tape them (one section of 5-6 pages above another) onto small poster board (cut).  if you can read from one end of the piano to the other, you can xerox at full size and then turn 3-4 pages at a time (leaving 6 up constantly).  this helps me.
do you know why benches fall apart?  it is because they have lids with little tiny hinges so you can store music inside them.  hint:  buy a bench that does not hinge.  buy it for sturdiness.

Offline Mayla

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Re: Feeling discouraged
Reply #2 on: June 28, 2005, 10:36:14 PM
rule number one should be to not let specific experiences determine your desire to play the piano, whether they are good or bad.
"The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving"  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Offline Kaylia_D.

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Re: Feeling discouraged
Reply #3 on: June 28, 2005, 11:06:30 PM
I am so honoured to receive a response from you Mayla ( and everyones else) i dont suppose i'll ever stop but i just feel as though i am in a "funk". Your advice is pretty encouraging but i'm not sure if i can harness that nervous energy into excitement.

thank you
Kaylia

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Feeling discouraged
Reply #4 on: June 28, 2005, 11:41:43 PM
NO ONE WILL REMEMBER IT. Which is true. Because there is so much more on peoples minds in this world than caring about a mistake on a piano. If you host a solo concert and there are paying customers then that is different, but still people should forgive it, we are human afterall. I would be very afraid if I heard people play like CD recordings all the time.
"The biggest risk in life is to take no risk at all."
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Offline galonia

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Re: Feeling discouraged
Reply #5 on: June 29, 2005, 01:01:12 AM
2) A photographer came and took a photograph of me at that particular point in the piece....but then it happened twice...so not a good excuse

Hi,

If you were distracted, and made a mistake because of the distraction, then the next time this part of the piece comes around, you were probably thinking something along the lines of, "Oh I stuffed that up last time, I'd better get it right this time" or "I hope I don't mess up again"

Which are the sorts of thoughts which will guarantee you mes up again.

If you are going to perform the same work again, then you must convince yourself that you can do it without mistakes - in your own mind, you must see and hear yourself always playing it perfectly.  Because once you start thinking about mistakes which happened in the past, or mistakes that may happen in the future, then they will happen during the performance.

And then, in the real performance, it doesn't matter if a little slip or two occurs, they occur for everyone.  Even a big mistake is not a tragedy - just keep going - because if you keep playing like nothing happened, as lostinidlewonder says, no one will remember the mistake!

Good luck!

Offline jhon

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Re: Feeling discouraged
Reply #6 on: June 29, 2005, 06:39:33 AM
I love playing piano...but hate performing...

This is something similar to a quote by Martha Argerich: "I love playing the piano but hate being a pianist."

Offline totallyclassics

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Re: Feeling discouraged
Reply #7 on: June 30, 2005, 08:51:50 AM
I know the feeling...i  recently returned to the piano after a 20 year break...i was supposed to be in a recital and play the entire haydn symphony no. 94  duet with my teacher...i am an adult, and i chickened out....i do not remember this fear as a child...i loved playing for my friends and family, and although my technique is still inconsistent with the long break, i definitely am better than i was when i was 9..lol..  However, i just can't see myself playing in front of others yet...i get too nervous, and nerves and my new fingers are a bad combination....i agree though with piano nut that the more you do it the better you will become...i don't know that the butterflies will ever go away, but you will better be able to handle your fingers under pressure.  good luck!

Offline Kaylia_D.

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Re: Feeling discouraged
Reply #8 on: July 08, 2005, 12:47:01 AM
well you know what...i had that other performance today

It wasnt that bad...actually i think the crowd was entertained by my facial antics (he he ;D) you see i am a natural comedian so the mistakes i made come out in my face :-\. Anyway i am no pro like many of you here but i played the first movement of Mozart's Sonata in C k.545. Midway through my playing some thought i was finished and started to applaud...but then i gave this incredulous look and the guy (poor thing) i think i gave him an evil eye so everyone started to laugh...jeez that was an ice breaker.

all in all everyone said they enjoyed my performance...but i didnt think it was the music i think it was because i made them laugh.

What i want to say though is that i think its soooooo wonderful to have this forum with you ppl with big hearts. i thank you for your words of encouragement its nice to know that we have a community where pianists from different parts of the world support each other and not sabotage each other. You are lovely ppl keep at it.

Until my next post...God bless

Kaylia_D

Offline Kohai

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Re: Feeling discouraged
Reply #9 on: July 08, 2005, 12:49:18 AM
Happy to hear your experience was positive.

Kohai
Life and death are light as a feather, but obligation, obligation is heavy as a mountain.

Offline ramseytheii

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Re: Feeling discouraged
Reply #10 on: July 08, 2005, 01:58:36 PM
NO ONE WILL REMEMBER IT. Which is true. Because there is so much more on peoples minds in this world than caring about a mistake on a piano. If you host a solo concert and there are paying customers then that is different, but still people should forgive it, we are human afterall. I would be very afraid if I heard people play like CD recordings all the time.

I agree that people should forgive, definitely.  But about noone remembering it... it reminds me of the old story of Michelangelo, working fervently on the -back- of a statue in the Vatican.  A curious priest or cardinal or whatever in his studio said, "Why bother?  Nobdy will see it." and Michelangelo put him to shame, "God will see it."
In other words we have to pay attention to our conscience, and if we feel we made a mess with one performance, we have to atone some way.  Either by making a next performance twice as good or perhaps some other way.  I don't want to be discouraging but only to point out the original poster, has a good conscience!

Walter Ramsey

Offline BoliverAllmon

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Re: Feeling discouraged
Reply #11 on: July 08, 2005, 04:26:49 PM
well you know what...i had that other performance today

It wasnt that bad...actually i think the crowd was entertained by my facial antics (he he ;D) you see i am a natural comedian so the mistakes i made come out in my face :-\. Anyway i am no pro like many of you here but i played the first movement of Mozart's Sonata in C k.545. Midway through my playing some thought i was finished and started to applaud...but then i gave this incredulous look and the guy (poor thing) i think i gave him an evil eye so everyone started to laugh...jeez that was an ice breaker.

all in all everyone said they enjoyed my performance...but i didnt think it was the music i think it was because i made them laugh.

What i want to say though is that i think its soooooo wonderful to have this forum with you ppl with big hearts. i thank you for your words of encouragement its nice to know that we have a community where pianists from different parts of the world support each other and not sabotage each other. You are lovely ppl keep at it.

Until my next post...God bless

Kaylia_D

thank you

Offline alzado

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Re: Feeling discouraged
Reply #12 on: July 08, 2005, 11:21:25 PM
Why do you play piano?

Is it to perform and exhibit your skill to an audience?  [I'm not implying this is bad.]

Is it because you like to play?   Do you "explore" composers and compositions, finding a way to express your enjoyment of music?

I play for a stuffed animal who sits on a corner of my piano.  I play as a way of exploring and understanding music.

You need to evaluate your own wishes.

I suspect --  just SUSPECT -- that you may not want to make your playing a "final exam" on your abilities by a group of less-knowledgeable people.

You may want to go back to the opening questions of this posting . . ..

Offline Bob

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Re: Feeling discouraged
Reply #13 on: July 09, 2005, 07:49:25 PM
If it helps...

I know my mind might be distracted during a performance or rehearsal, so if I prepared the music to the point that I don't need to use the score anymore, I might be so focused differently during the performance that I want to read that score -- hope that makes sense.  I may want to read the score during the performance or rehearsal instead of playing it the usual way once I've prepared it. 

One solution to that is to relax for the event and play how you normally do.

Another solution is to sight read the piece at the beginning up to or beyond performance tempo.  If it's too difficult, you simplify the piece AS you play it.  That's a skill that's good to have.  The simplified version still sounds decent and it takes a lot less mental effort.  This way during the performance if your mind freezes up, you can take a look at the score, relax, and know that the easy simplified version will get you through.  It's like insurance that way.  Few people will notice you leaving out a few notes here and there.

And beyond that, working on sight reading so you can actually read the score during the rehearsals.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."
 

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