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Author Topic: Performance nerves.  (Read 561 times)
bernadette60614
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« on: October 18, 2017, 02:19:54 PM »

My lovely piano teacher hosts musical evenings every quarter during which each of her adult students plays a piece of their own choosing.

The longest piece I've played thus far was 3 pages, during which despite some nervousness, I was able to play reasonably well.

The current pieces on which I'm working are over 8 pages, and I find my nervousness increasing with every page.  I'm anticipating "slips", my mind is wandering and I lose the "music" in the music as it sounds increasingly as if I have to finish the piece before the last train to salvation leaves!

Any tips would be appreciated. Thank you, everyone.

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tnan123
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« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2017, 04:58:18 PM »

Can you clarify if you are performing via memory? For me, over reliance on muscle memory has caused me to feel the same in especially longer pieces.

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beethovenfan01
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« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2017, 05:37:43 PM »

Two things I've learned--

First of all, when you are memorizing in the way I believe you are, via muscle memory, you are setting yourself up for failure if your memorization is done any time less than 8 weeks out. That's about what nerves does--it you play your piece like it was eight weeks before the performance. Ideal? I think not. Believe me, I've learned how this can go wrong, the hard way.

The second thing is a solution to the first. Memorize in sections--phrase by phrase, measure by measure. I'm even experimenting with memorizing as I first learn a piece, rather than learning it by sight, then memorizing later. I haven't tried this out personally, but I feel like having a piece of music intellectually committed to memory, as well as in muscle memory, is far stronger than performing by muscle memory alone. I'm getting ready to a concerto competition, so we'll see how well this method goes ...
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Practicing:
Beethoven Sonata Op. 10 No. 1
Chopin Ballade Op. 47
Shostakovich Prelude and Fugue No. 3
Chopin Etude Op. 25 No. 6
louispodesta
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« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2017, 11:12:04 PM »

My lovely piano teacher hosts musical evenings every quarter during which each of her adult students plays a piece of their own choosing.

The longest piece I've played thus far was 3 pages, during which despite some nervousness, I was able to play reasonably well.

The current pieces on which I'm working are over 8 pages, and I find my nervousness increasing with every page.  I'm anticipating "slips", my mind is wandering and I lose the "music" in the music as it sounds increasingly as if I have to finish the piece before the last train to salvation leaves!

Any tips would be appreciated. Thank you, everyone.


First of all, my Youtube video is entitled "Your Piano Teacher Taught You Wrong."

Next, my major teacher (the late Robert Weaver), spent 15 years teaching me how  to produce a "singing tone."

What he, nor any other American piano teacher (with the exception of two people) is that:   The playing technique of today's so-called Modern/Conservatory Method pianists is in no way representative of how the Composer/Pianists of the 18th, 19th, and early 20th Century originally wrote, performed, and taught this great music.
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