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Topic: Uh oh.  (Read 2555 times)

Offline dough_mouse

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Uh oh.
on: February 16, 2006, 02:36:54 AM
I have to perform Scriabin's 8/12 etude on Feb. 22, which is one week from now, and I'm not close to ready yet. I'm struggling to make the piece sound musical, but I still miss notes all over the place and have to start over a lot, etc. And compounded with this is the fact that Im a pretty poor performer, so Im likely to perform it worse than I practice it. Ive only performed two other times and the results were not great. My hands always feel cold and stiff before I play, and I get really nervous just thinking about it now. The audience is roughly 500 people, and its in the morning too. I dont really have a point I guess...just...
damn.
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Offline infectedmushroom

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Re: Uh oh.
Reply #1 on: February 16, 2006, 11:04:36 AM
Do you really have to perform that piece? Isn't it possible to change your repertoire? Else it's gonna be a hard job I think, since you don't master this Etude completely yet.  :-\

Maybe you can master it completely in 1 week, but that's gonna take a lot of hours I think.

Offline jamie_liszt

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Re: Uh oh.
Reply #2 on: February 16, 2006, 11:17:09 AM
 You should know the piece your playing by now, you should have it perfect probably a couple of weeks before so you have even more time to practice it to get it even better, if you cant even play a week before, I can tell your performance is going to go bad, I advise you to change your piece, Save yourself alot of embarassment, or you could practice very hard, slow practice, and get better, but if you decide to stick with this piece don't use hand memory, you will definately stuff up.

 Its your own fault no matter how you look at it, dont say oh i didnt have enough time to practice it because you should have chosen an easier piece to learn and memorize. Didn't have enough practice time ? you shouldn't even be performing if you don't have enough practice time. Your a bad performer, you make mistakes, If your a bad performer you shouldn't be performing, or perform infront of less people.

Good luck though (oh and we all make these mistakes) we all run into this problem sometime, you will learn to pick easier stuff or make more practice time.

Offline infectedmushroom

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Re: Uh oh.
Reply #3 on: February 16, 2006, 12:05:51 PM
Maybe this inspires you a tiny bit: a video of Kissin performing Scriabin's Etude 8/12

https://rapidshare.de/files/5838608/Evgeny_Kissin_-_Scriabin_Etude_Op._8_No_12.mpg.html


If you really can't change the piece you have to perform, you should take the whole week off and spend hours in it to learn this Etude.

Offline jamie_liszt

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Re: Uh oh.
Reply #4 on: February 16, 2006, 08:49:44 PM
This happened to Me last year, I took the whole week off and practiced, it doesnt really get you anywhere, Your performance will still be bad, You have to learn it gradually and have alot of time to perfect it.

Offline donjuan

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Re: Uh oh.
Reply #5 on: February 17, 2006, 12:39:16 AM
Uh Oh is right.  If I were you, I would see my teacher as much as I can in these last days and see if the piece is salvageable in such a short time.  I really don't want to waste your time by having you read too many of my words when you should be practicing, so I'll just ask this:  Can you cancel out?  What is the context of this performance -exhibition or competition?  I havent heard you play, but if I didn't feel good about a piece a week before I have to perform it, I would either work really hard to get it up to level or drop it entirely.  A piece like that demands that you know what you are doing.

Everyone performs worse than they practice - my teacher tells me that most of his students come to him and say "Oh, but i did it so well at home.." It doesn't matter.  To perform it with any degree of confidience, you have to be able to do it well anywhere, on any piano, in any condition. 

Offline nicco

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Re: Uh oh.
Reply #6 on: February 17, 2006, 12:12:08 PM
Im playing the exact same piece right now, and performed it on class a few days ago. Maybe I can help :)

What I did to prepare this piece was to practice each hand separatly at first. It might not seem like its working immediatly, but somehow it makes a hell of a difference then just playing both hands together all the time. Try to prepare the most difficult places (particulary in the left hand) very carefully with one-hand play.
After this i concentrated on taking a few bars, played them over and over, and slowly moved on. Then i could concentrate on a whole page, playing over and over, with and without metronome, until it was stuck in my fingers. Try also listening to recordings such as John Bell or maaaaybe horowitz, because they both present both clarity and musical geniality in their own way.

Good luck with it, im sure you can do it! :)
"Without music, life would be a mistake." - Friedrich Nietzsche

Offline dough_mouse

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Re: Uh oh.
Reply #7 on: February 18, 2006, 06:06:35 AM
No, I cant really change the repetoir cause this is the only piece I know right now, everything else has been pretty much forgotten or is too far away from being ready.

Quote
Its your own fault no matter how you look at it, dont say oh i didnt have enough time to practice it because you should have chosen an easier piece to learn and memorize. Didn't have enough practice time ? you shouldn't even be performing if you don't have enough practice time. Your a bad performer, you make mistakes, If your a bad performer you shouldn't be performing, or perform infront of less people.

Well its not like I ran up to someone and was like "PLZ let me perform a Scriabin etude I can NAIL IT!!" I just chose this as my next piece with my teacher, and, if youd care to read my post, I was approached about performing it only a week and a half after i started it, and when i asked my teacher whether i could use this piece or stop learning it and go back to another one, he said i could do this one but it would be a close thing. And i cant cancel or anything. Also, being a bad performer doesnt mean i should never perform, it just means i need to be very comfortable with a piece to perform it...

Quote
Uh Oh is right.  If I were you, I would see my teacher as much as I can in these last days and see if the piece is salvageable in such a short time.  I really don't want to waste your time by having you read too many of my words when you should be practicing, so I'll just ask this:  Can you cancel out?  What is the context of this performance -exhibition or competition?  I havent heard you play, but if I didn't feel good about a piece a week before I have to perform it, I would either work really hard to get it up to level or drop it entirely.  A piece like that demands that you know what you are doing.

Everyone performs worse than they practice - my teacher tells me that most of his students come to him and say "Oh, but i did it so well at home.." It doesn't matter.  To perform it with any degree of confidience, you have to be able to do it well anywhere, on any piano, in any condition.

Yeah, I also play my music worse when I play it for my teacher as opposed to when I practice, at least the first time. Its not a competition, and the people Im playing in front of probably wouldnt notice if I played superb as opposed to above-average, and I saw my teacher for the last time two days ago, and it...wasnt good. eh.

Quote
What I did to prepare this piece was to practice each hand separatly at first. It might not seem like its working immediatly, but somehow it makes a hell of a difference then just playing both hands together all the time. Try to prepare the most difficult places (particulary in the left hand) very carefully with one-hand play.
After this i concentrated on taking a few bars, played them over and over, and slowly moved on. Then i could concentrate on a whole page, playing over and over, with and without metronome, until it was stuck in my fingers. Try also listening to recordings such as John Bell or maaaaybe horowitz, because they both present both clarity and musical geniality in their own way.

thanks for the post. I may try hands separate for a few days, but I dont know if I have the time to do that. How did you practice the part right before the last line or so, with the jumping left hand and such? That part murders me cause I can never balance out all the notes.
Doughnut Disturb.

Offline nicco

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Re: Uh oh.
Reply #8 on: February 18, 2006, 12:35:05 PM
Quote
How did you practice the part right before the last line or so, with the jumping left hand and such? That part murders me cause I can never balance out all the notes.

Yes indeed its a tricky part. Try to practice your left hand like this: first placing it at the first chord, then moving it as fast as you can to the next one and stay there, then on to the next chord with the same approuch. Its a bit hard to explain by writing, but that is one way. Also i would advise you to analyse that place with your eyes, and look what happens (the lower octaves in the left hand are going chromatically upwards) and also try to analyse the chords after the jump. Hitting the right notes is much easier when you are 100% sure about what happens theoretically :)

Good Luck!
"Without music, life would be a mistake." - Friedrich Nietzsche

Offline dough_mouse

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Re: Uh oh.
Reply #9 on: February 19, 2006, 12:05:30 AM
Yeah, I notice how the octaves chromatically converge towards the center and such, and Ill try the technique you suggested. That section is also hard because theres no real melody, so you have to balanced the RH chords with the LH chords and keep the repeated chords in the background. A lot of the time I play it, it just becomes a mush of notes, and like I said before, its hard to balance. I think for now Im going with emphasizing the LH and keeping the RH a little quiter. When I jump around with the LH, Im 99% accurate except when the chords I jump to on the top have really awkward fingerings, then I miss them a lot or have to slow down to play them. Erk. This is gonna be bad.
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Offline jamie_liszt

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Re: Uh oh.
Reply #10 on: February 19, 2006, 12:31:23 AM
Well its not like I ran up to someone and was like "PLZ let me perform a Scriabin etude I can NAIL IT!!" I just chose this as my next piece with my teacher, and, if youd care to read my post, I was approached about performing it only a week and a half after i started it, and when i asked my teacher whether i could use this piece or stop learning it and go back to another one, he said i could do this one but it would be a close thing. And i cant cancel or anything. Also, being a bad performer doesnt mean i should never perform, it just means i need to be very comfortable with a piece to perform it...

Your first post only stated that you only have 1 week until you perform this piece, you are a bad performer and you are struggling to get the piece perfected. It never stated you were approached by someone who asked you to perform Scriabin Etude after a week you just started learning it. Even if they did ask that question, why would you accept to perform such a hard piece when you have such little time, you have not been learning it for along time and if your a bad performer. If you know its impossible, you should just say, No thanks, or I would love to perform, However I don't have enough time to get this piece ready, may I play another piece? You can't blame your teacher, the person who asked you, me, or anyone else, just yourself. I also want to let you know im not trying to be mean in my post or my previous post, I am just stating the obvious, telling you the truth so in the future you will know not to do such an idiodic thing. Also you shouldn't let anything stop you from performing and doing what you love. This event will make you think more in the future.

I say, practice, practice, practice like hell, not too much, dont hurt those hands :) big breaths! in !!! out!!! in !! out!! Also try swimming or running, it helps, you will feel more refreshed.

good luck.

Offline jamie_liszt

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Re: Uh oh.
Reply #11 on: February 19, 2006, 12:33:50 AM
y

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Uh oh.
Reply #12 on: February 20, 2006, 12:13:13 AM
There is nothing wrong playing something not 100%. Some people are too afraid to peform unless they have something totally perfect but it is unneeded. We would never play infront of people if we where completely satisfied with how well we can play, not one person is ever satisfied how they play a piece, we ALWAYS have something to improve.

The biggest musical sin when peforming is STOPPING. Whatever you do don't stop. That is something that is unforgivable, play wrong notes fine, but stopping? You might as well run away if you stop or make some excuse that the seat is too low.... or piano is untuned lol.

If you know your limitation then at least learn the piece in such a way that the difficult parts which you muck up you can still push through it and keep on playing. Do not be too obsessed about hitting the right notes, but be more obsessed with keeping the flow going and knowing how to push on even if there are inaccuracies. Did I mention DON'T STOP!

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Offline lisztisforkids

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Re: Uh oh.
Reply #13 on: February 20, 2006, 01:49:52 AM
HAHAHA! Im in this exact situation, I have to play Clemnti Sonata op.25 f#minor on saturday and its not even memerized.. Well I say CHARGE! IF you are going to going to go out Kamikaze style take out the Battleship... Long Live the Emperor!
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Offline dough_mouse

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Re: Uh oh.
Reply #14 on: February 20, 2006, 03:20:51 AM
Quote
If you know its impossible, you should just say, No thanks, or I would love to perform, However I don't have enough time to get this piece ready, may I play another piece? You can't blame your teacher, the person who asked you, me, or anyone else, just yourself. I also want to let you know im not trying to be mean in my post or my previous post, I am just stating the obvious, telling you the truth so in the future you will know not to do such an idiodic thing. Also you shouldn't let anything stop you from performing and doing what you love. This event will make you think more in the future.

Um, i knew neither how hard the piece was nor how long it would take to get ready for a performance. As I said before, I had the crazy idea of asking my teacher whether I could perform it in the alloted time (since I knew nothing about it), and he said it was possible but would be difficult. I certainly didnt know it was impossible and I dont know where you think I said that. So Im not sure how that makes my decision idiotic, given that I asked my teacher and worked as hard as I could to prepare the piece, so I dont know what lesson you want me to learn from this other than "dont perform".
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Offline mmccarthy

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Re: Uh oh.
Reply #15 on: February 20, 2006, 03:37:42 AM
Sometimes teachers do these kinds of things to students to show them how much can be accomplished with a bit of pressure. Setting a recital in the very near future for a new piece is a nice, difficult short-term goal that gets students to practice like mad. I say, practice like mad and do your best for the recital. I agree with lostinidlewonder in that you really don't need to play it really well. Is there anything at stake other than a little pride? If you do your best and end up playing badly, life goes on. I'm assuming you won't be the subject of the entire recital anyway. :)

Good luck!

Offline I Love Xenakis

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Re: Uh oh.
Reply #16 on: February 20, 2006, 04:00:38 AM
Frankly, this seems like a perfect time for your mother to tell your teacher you've got the Flu.


Seriously.
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Offline jamie_liszt

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Re: Uh oh.
Reply #17 on: February 20, 2006, 05:23:47 AM
Is something not registering ? The lesson you learn from this is: learn about the piece first, listen to recordings, watch videos and look at the score over and over, sight read some parts and also get not only 1 professionals opinion, but about 3 or 4. In the future you will learn not to make such an idiotic mistake, I don't mean that in a bad way, what I am trying to say is that in the future you will learn to organise things so that its impossible to run into such a problem like you have.

Do you know I have stuffed up more then this, In a competition I had to perform Hungarian rhapsody No 2, Mozart Sonata K 5 something lol, Heroic polonaise, Flight of the bumblebee. But I had so much on my plate that I had to learn the presto Finale of hungarian rhapsody No 2 5 hours before the performance. I messed everything, I had no time to practice the mozart sonata. But I learnt from it and will never do it again.
Now you understand what  you will learn apart from dont perform..

Oh yes, in cases like this. dont perform if you have not enough practice time. dont bother

Offline amojoam

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Re: Uh oh.
Reply #18 on: February 20, 2006, 10:15:18 PM
LOL! I love this ranting forum!! here i go...
Well i have a piano audition for Miami University in less than a week. Although there's a lot of  pressure in a recital because so many people are watching you, a college audition is kind of.. where it counts. While a recital can be forgotten if it turns out badly, this audition somewhat determines my future (and scholarships that go with it). Also, the plane tickets and hotel rooms cost money, and i'm going to be more behind in school for missing 2 days (My 15-20 page Senior Thesis is due in less than 2 weeks), so i don't want to blow it and make the trip a waste.

Yeah i kind of told my teacher a month before the performance i needed to know all major and harmonic minor scales 4 octaves, and i really didn't know minor at all. So i kind of crammed them all in now... but they are still shakey! I am performing Sonata in G Major k283 by Mozart, the "Black Key" Etude Op 5 no. 10, and Toccata by Khachaturian. I just got the sonata memorized a couple weeks ago, and i am reviving the other two pieces from months ago, but i can't find the score to my toccata,... AHhhh I'm so NERVOUS!  :o

the anxiety will be over soon,  :D

Offline zheer

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Re: Uh oh.
Reply #19 on: February 20, 2006, 10:21:45 PM
LOL! I love this ranting forum!! here i go...
Well i have a piano audition for Miami University in less than a week. Although there's a lot of  pressure in a recital because so many people are watching you, a college audition is kind of.. where it counts. While a recital can be forgotten if it turns out badly, this audition somewhat determines my future (and scholarships that go with it). Also, the plane tickets and hotel rooms cost money, and i'm going to be more behind in school for missing 2 days (My 15-20 page Senior Thesis is due in less than 2 weeks), so i don't want to blow it and make the trip a waste.

Yeah i kind of told my teacher a month before the performance i needed to know all major and harmonic minor scales 4 octaves, and i really didn't know minor at all. So i kind of crammed them all in now... but they are still shakey! I am performing Sonata in G Major k283 by Mozart, the "Black Key" Etude Op 5 no. 10, and Toccata by Khachaturian. I just got the sonata memorized a couple weeks ago, and i am reviving the other two pieces from months ago, but i can't find the score to my toccata,... AHhhh I'm so NERVOUS!  :o

the anxiety will be over soon,  :D

   Good luck, and think good thoghts.
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Offline dough_mouse

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Re: Uh oh.
Reply #20 on: February 23, 2006, 06:02:08 AM
Ok, its over. Thats it. Just wanted to let you all know, I survived, and I actually did fairly well considering. I sat down and immediately started too quickly, before i even got situated, even though I told myself not to, and semi-rushed the first half page. However, I managed to perform the peice with a good degree of musicality, I didnt make any big mistakes, and I managed to do the last page with the climax fairly decently. Im not a generally nervous person, but my hands were shaking really badly for most of the performance, and at one point I was supposed to smack the low D# octave, but I was shaking so much my hand just flopped like ten notes to the right and I bungled some chords cause I couldnt keep my hands steady, but no one seemed to notice. Last time I performed my hands became cold and stiff, perhaps from nerves, but this time i took precautionary measures and wore gloves. My teacher was happy, and a lot of people said they liked it or congratulated me, and in all, I think id term it a success. Thanks to those who gave advice/support in the thread, by the way. Thank god its over, and now Im going to put away that piece and not look at it for a month.
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Offline jamie_liszt

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Re: Uh oh.
Reply #21 on: February 23, 2006, 08:08:37 AM
Congratulations, Good to see it went well.You may find if you play a piece that you know back the front you have played for years, and had months of perfecting, I think you will find your less nervous too. But good job.

Offline henrah

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Re: Uh oh.
Reply #22 on: February 23, 2006, 09:06:33 PM
Wait, you wore gloves??? I've tried to play before in gloves: it's not easy, especially if they're skiing gloves lol :D
Henrah
Currently learning:<br />Liszt- Consolation No.3<br />J.W.Hässler- Sonata No.6 in C, 2nd mvt<br />Glière- No.10 from 12 Esquisses, Op.47<br />Saint-Saens- VII Aquarium<br />Mozart- Fantasie KV397<br /

Offline dough_mouse

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Re: Uh oh.
Reply #23 on: February 24, 2006, 06:58:19 AM
Hehehe. No, I didnt wear gloves while I was playing, but I wore them until right before I got on the piano.
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Offline nicco

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Re: Uh oh.
Reply #24 on: February 25, 2006, 02:00:03 AM
good to hear :)

good luck with future projects!
"Without music, life would be a mistake." - Friedrich Nietzsche

Offline donjuan

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Re: Uh oh.
Reply #25 on: February 25, 2006, 05:49:12 AM
Hehehe. No, I didnt wear gloves while I was playing, but I wore them until right before I got on the piano.
i do that too; only it makes the hands sweaty.  When the hands get sweaty, they get cold when I take them out.  Works better when you put a couple kleenex in the gloves

Offline pianowelsh

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Re: Uh oh.
Reply #26 on: March 09, 2006, 11:34:44 PM
Oh I feel for you! Its horrible having to play when you know youre really not quite ready.  We always had that to a lesser extent at college First piano class back after summer.  It was always technical etudes (no warm up - sometimes sitting for 2 hrs then playing from cold) and to make matters worse we shared class with postgrads and there were usually at least 2 proffessors present and everyone (all other piansists) were following scores.  We had no choice when to play or what order.  If you werent ready you just looked stupid or begged with HOD infront of class (didnt usually work).  Some folks are very quick at learning/memorising and so its not a pressure - some take a long time.  The system favours the former rather than the latter.  I tend to say what dosent kill you makes you stronger.  IF you can deal with it.  Severall pianists each year would quit because they couldn stand the pressure week in week out for 4 years.  Have to say I dont blame them.  You have to be determined to survive bad experiences. BUT living through them does shape you and cause you to grow.
 

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