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Andras Schiff, Brahms and the Question of Tradition
Much attention and mention is given Sir Andras Schiff's latest remarkable recording of both Brahms’ piano concertos with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Schiff's choice of instrument is a Blüthner grand piano built in Leipzig around 1859, the year in which the first D minor concerto was premiered. Schiff has changed foot in his views on period instruments and the recording can be seen as an ambitious attempt to scrutinize and fully bring out the true characteristics of Brahms' works. Read more >>

Topic: getting nervous before/during performance  (Read 2447 times)

Offline jennbo

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getting nervous before/during performance
on: June 06, 2004, 09:13:00 PM
yesterday i had a dress rehersal for my recital.
except i got extremely nervous so i played my piece extremely faster than normal and skipped all of my rests.
um the recital is today but if anyone's got any helpful tips on how to ease down, it'd be great.

btw im playing
the 4th movement of beety sonata op.2 no. 1
scriabin etude op. 8 no. 12
fantaisie impromptu.

um killed them all with my fastness.
oy it was horrible

JK

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Re: getting nervous before/during performance
Reply #1 on: June 06, 2004, 10:16:08 PM
Everyone goes through this at one time or another, in fact I don't think you'd be human if you didn't, dealing with nerves comes partly from experience as everyone develops their own ways of dealing with them. This is what I tend to do. Don't rush anything, even when you walk out on stage try and walk slowly, bow and sit down, once you sit down take a few moments to get comfortable, then what I do is to wait until the audience is completely silent, doesn't matter how long this is, sometimes I even count to 15 in my head, this is good because it makes your mind focus. Before going on stage I tend to walk up and down, you don't have to do this but I find walking slowly is a very good way to focus your mind also taking 10 or so really deep breaths is really good at relaxing you. The most important thing that you have to try and do, this may be from the ways described above or from other methods, is to get your mind into that region where it's totally focussed on the music and clear and calm. Another thing to try is focusing only on the beginning of the first piece and nothing else.

There is always a tendancy to play faster in concert than we normally would want to, some people find this exciting, I personally find it hinders what I really want to do. Therefore to help prevent this there is no harm in starting the piece a little slower than you would normally, if you do this deliberately then it is likely that you will end up at the usual speed. What ever you do take your time!

Hope this helps and good luck in your concert! Let us know how it goes!! :)

Offline Dave_2004_G

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Re: getting nervous before/during performance
Reply #2 on: June 07, 2004, 12:12:14 AM
It's very important to sit down and compose yourself before starting - there's no rush at all, so just get comfortable on the stool, perhaps have it a notch high so you can twist it down abit as something to do to settle you down abit - I know it sounds funny, but it can stop you rushing in and making a hash of it.

Also, it's sometimes a good idea to just imagine a couple of beats in your head before you start - I used to have a nightmare rushing, and this certainly helped

Dave

Offline Clare

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Re: getting nervous before/during performance
Reply #3 on: June 07, 2004, 05:11:40 AM
I JUST had my first exam at university this morning, and I promised myself I wouldn't play my study too fast. In fact, I promised myself I would play it slightly slower than I had practiced it.

But, no! I played it way too fast and missed a whole bunch of notes however I did get through it OK I suppose.

So, really, as JK says, you must promise yourself even more seriously than I did to play it a little slower than you know you can play it. Notice extremely carefully if you're starting to rush and stop it immediately. If your hands are shaking, ignore it because there's nothing you can do about that. And as for the rests, savour them because they are small bits of relief from playing. In fact, many people play rests a bit too short even when they think they're doing them the right length. So, if anything, wait a microsecond more than you think is right. A slightly longer rest sounds WAY better than a slightly shorter rest.

Man, if I could do my exam again, I would love that. I wish I knew exactly how to stay calm.

Offline jennbo

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Re: getting nervous before/during performance
Reply #4 on: June 07, 2004, 05:24:57 AM
um yeah concert went fine.
missed a couple of notes.
went at an okay speed
oh god i was a nervous wreck.

Offline Motrax

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Re: getting nervous before/during performance
Reply #5 on: June 07, 2004, 06:00:57 AM
Well, congratulations.  :P

I think it's important to approach the audience slowly and try to make eye contact with as many people as you can while you take a slow, careful bow. It gets people's attention, so you'll have a greater silence before you begin playing.

When you sit at the bench, sit for as long as you feel necessary. I have sat for almost a minute before, and although that's a little strange for the audience, it will put you at ease for the whole performance. Works for me, anyway.
"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 amanfang

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Re: getting nervous before/during performance
Reply #6 on: June 07, 2004, 10:15:35 PM
I think nerves come because we are making ourselves vulnerable by coming out and performing something, most of the time from memory.  We have no idea if we will just walk out on stage and completely forget everything we have worked for.  One thing I try to do is just breathe deeply.  I have to think about breathing.  This often helps calm me down.  To me, it's all in the mind.  I try to think of my performance not as "Let me show you what a good musician I am" but rather, "I have this piece that I would like to share with you."  And it puts my mind more at ease because I am simply "sharing" my piece with a mostly unhostile audience.  Find out what you can do to keep your mind in control.  Relax, and breathe.
When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there's no end to what you can't do.
 

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