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Topic: No guarantees ?  (Read 2146 times)

Offline Mayla

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No guarantees ?
on: January 29, 2005, 07:20:57 PM
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"The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving"  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Offline PianoStudentReady2Perform

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Re: No guarantees ?
Reply #1 on: January 29, 2005, 07:30:51 PM
Thanks for your post, Mayla.  The idea is that you are comfortable enough with your pieces that you will naturally feel confident with them.  You have played them enough times so that you no longer have to think AT ALL about what comes next, fingerings, or anything of that nature.  Your mind must be practically disengaged so that the whole piece is left up to your fingers.  When ALL your pieces are at this point, then you are ready for a performance of them.  (There was a study done that said it takes nine performances of a single piece to get it to this level!)  This is what confidence is to me.  Then, the possible mishaps are just related to musicality or how you communicate your music to the audience, and nothing technical.  Hope this helps.

PS why do you put spaces before your punctuation ?

Offline Mayla

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Re: No guarantees ?
Reply #2 on: January 29, 2005, 07:50:54 PM
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"The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving"  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Offline tocca

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Re: No guarantees ?
Reply #3 on: January 30, 2005, 06:58:51 AM
I think that part of the reason why many of us doesn't feel really confident with a piece is due to the fact that we often try to perform pieces that are too near to our  capabilities.

We don't have as big a "margin" as for example a world class pianist. Try learning a piece that is far below your capabilites, something you could play easily some years ago. Learn it until you know it inside out, and you'll probably feel very confident in performing it.

Easier said than done though, during my teen years i almost always performed pieces that were maybe a bit to close to my limit!  :)

Offline Mayla

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Re: No guarantees ?
Reply #4 on: January 30, 2005, 07:38:38 AM
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"The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving"  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Offline jlh

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Re: No guarantees ?
Reply #5 on: January 30, 2005, 10:03:04 AM
I'm reminded of something a former teacher used to tell me.  She said, "you must know the piece 110%, because as soon as you step on the stage, you lose 10%". 

I guess then, that if you think you've prepared a piece 100%, you're still not guaranteed a perfect performance because if you lose 10%, then you're only playing 90% of what you should.  That's when errors and lapses of memory happen.
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Offline alhimia

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Re: No guarantees ?
Reply #6 on: January 30, 2005, 10:21:08 AM
Interesting topic!
A few years ago, I played some concerts and prepared very well in order to play almost perfect (or at least to have the guarantee that nothing would go wrong). I can say that there are absolutely no guarantees to play 'perfect', even your name is Zimerman, Michelangeli, Volodos etc. So I think the point is what you focus on. let's say very simple, the reason why I practise is to reduce the possibility of a disaster. But at the same time I realize that to be completely safe (as P. Anderzerwsky said) is often boring and you cannot be completely safe. Because music is something alive and live is never safe...
once I came to that realisation, I accepted that to have a certain guarantee is impossible, so I'm simply not striving for that. As I said before, when I am practising I am trying to reduce possibilities for a (musical or technical) disaster, when I am performing I don't think about it at all. I try to communicate music and simply see what happens.
about confidence, I think that grows by experience, I think it has not very much to do with any sort of guarantee. To give you one example, I performed the 4th ballade of Chopin many times. Of course the first time when I played it I was very very nervous and I struggled in the coda. Now I played it more then ten times (for public) and still struggle in the coda, but I am not nervous to play it any more. I just accepted that I could not play the coda perfectly. But I have the experience playing it for public and that makes me more confident, even if I don't play perfect.

Offline ehpianist

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Re: No guarantees ?
Reply #7 on: January 30, 2005, 07:19:03 PM
I disagree.  I think with the propert mental and practice preparation you can guarantee your own best performance.  What you can't guarantee are the external circumstances surrounding the performance.  In fact the only thing you CAN be sure of is what you can control, which is what is in your head.

Read My lessons with Kumi by Michael Colgrass.  Insecurity during performance is caused exclusively by your own fears of performance.  IF you can learn to control these, and learn to prepare the music properly (not just by practicing at the piano) the fear of possibly forgetting something goes away completely.  There is still excitement but it can be channeled in positive ways.  The worst feeling in the world is thinking in every performace you may be floundering  about with complete amnesia in front of the audience.  There are ways to overcome this but they require patience, effort and dedication, although not as muchas you dedicate to your daily practice more than most people are willing to put in.

Elena
https://www.pianofourhands.com
 

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