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How to calm nerves? (Read 7465 times)

Offline Silence

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How to calm nerves?
« on: April 18, 2004, 06:09:27 AM »
I have a piano recital tomorrow. First one in about 3 or 4 years.  :o I'm playing a really pretty, slower song, but still a bit complicated. When I get nervous, I rush, which really takes away from the song and it makes it a lot more likely to fall apart. x.x So my question, any advice to calm my nerves before or during my performance? Thanks in advance.  :)

Offline Motrax

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Re: How to calm nerves?
«Reply #1 on: April 18, 2004, 06:31:27 AM »
I spend a lot of time in silence before I begin a piece, if I'm in the mood I need to be. Sure, it's a little akward, but if it makes a better performance, nobody will remember anyway.

Smiling at the audience helps too, especially if they are nice and they smile back.  :)
"I always make sure that the lid over the keyboard is open before I start to play." --  Artur Schnabel, after being asked for the secret of piano playing.

Offline donjuan

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Re: How to calm nerves?
«Reply #2 on: April 18, 2004, 07:53:18 AM »
The best way to calm nerves is to NOT practice the music the last two hours before the performance.  If you do practice in this time, you will probably freak out and create some errors in the playing that were not there originally.  Do not dwell on any one part of the music.  Listening to recordings before a concert is also a bad idea.  They wil make you self conscious and change your ideas about the music.  We wouldn't want things like that happenning before a performance now do we?  

To calm down, watch television or something to get your mind off music.  You need to have a fresh look on the concert stage.  If the audience senses you have worked hard on something and are still working details out, you know you have failed.

Offline dj

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Re: How to calm nerves?
«Reply #3 on: April 18, 2004, 08:03:30 AM »
well i've heard that saltine/soda crackers are supposed to have some biological effect on nerves....i dunno how true this is as im not sure of the reliabilty of my source....but it's worth a shot
rach on!

Shagdac

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Re: How to calm nerves?
«Reply #4 on: April 18, 2004, 08:40:23 AM »
I've also heard that eating certain foods help...in my case it was Bananas. ...besides the obvious, getting a good nights sleep, having breakfast, all the logical things one would think of...I try to focus on my enjoyment of performing the piece. I agree w/ Donjuan in not practicing the piece right before playing, or over practicing the night before. Sometimes the anticipation of performing will cause one to make mistakes that you normally would not. I think about the piece, and try and reflect on how much I am going to enjoy sharing it with others. Just knowing that you tend to rush when nervous is a bit help in itself, as you can tell yourself mentally from the beginning....deep breath, keep it slow, smile, enjoy. And yes, a big smile as you walk out can kind of "connect" you with the audience before you even start to play. More so you feel like you are playing in front of friends instead of an audience. Enjoy yourself, have fun and let them see your enjoyment. I'm sure you'll do just fine!

Good luck!

Shag :)

Offline Silence

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Re: How to calm nerves?
«Reply #5 on: April 20, 2004, 02:28:00 AM »
Thanks for all the help guys!

Well, the recital went fine. My mom and I got into a bit of a fight right before it  :-X so I was a bit tense walking in, but I was one of the last people to play so I got a little bit of time to relax. I played without any major errors. I thought I rushed a LOT, but I talked to a lot of people who were listening and they said it sounded fine. So whether they were telling the truth or just trying to make me feel better I'll never know. ;) I'm just relieved it's over.  ;D