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Topic: How to get pieces to performance standard  (Read 965 times)

Offline orbulation

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How to get pieces to performance standard
on: December 18, 2022, 12:27:06 AM
Iím going to play at a small music festival/competition, and I have my pieces about 80% ready. How do I get them to a standard worthy of a public performance(minimal technical errors etc)

If itís important, the pieces are Mozarts Fantasia in d minor, the entertainer, and Chopin nocturne op. 9 no. 2

Offline droprenstein

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Re: How to get pieces to performance standard
Reply #1 on: December 18, 2022, 02:05:35 AM
I'm afraid this question is extremely vague. The only answer we can realistically give is "practice". If you have it at 80%, get it up to 100%. With the information given, we can't really do anything. What specifically do you think is not "performance level"?

Offline lelle

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Re: How to get pieces to performance standard
Reply #2 on: December 18, 2022, 07:13:39 PM
Practice slowly a lot. Do what you're gonna do fast, but in slow motion. Play at a tempo where you can focus completely so you don't make any mistakes. If you get bored so you can't focus, stop, and return again when you can. Do this many times without playing fast so your mind can assimilate mistake free playing, don't raise the tempo more than where you still get everything completely right. If you make a mistake, stop immediately and play the spot five times correctly before proceeding.

This is what my first teacher taught me and it works quite well when I bother doing it.

Offline cuberdrift

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Re: How to get pieces to performance standard
Reply #3 on: March 30, 2023, 02:44:03 AM
Typically playing is worse during performance than practice, so if you want your performance 100 percent, get it to 200 percent...

Offline ego0720

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Re: How to get pieces to performance standard
Reply #4 on: April 03, 2023, 01:40:08 AM
Typically playing is worse during performance than practice, so if you want your performance 100 percent, get it to 200 percent...

That depends on the person. When the pressure is on some ppl do worse while others thrive.  Thatís an uncontrollable variable.

Thereís a couple points I will bring up. Establish a base tempo for which u make no mistakes. Once u mastered that, bring the tempo up a few nicks. Slowly bring tempo up. Try and go 15-20% above desired speed. Gradually do this (ie by the week).

Also alternate the articulation or add some or strip it away. You purposefully add or subtract the texture and expression of the song to get a feel for the components.

Another is peaking. Donít want to overtrain. Tough bc u want to get it early. But time it so that u got the job done a week early. Take a break. Review a few days before. But on the night before and maybe before that.. do not practice long. Do just enough and focus on mentality. You want to give fingers 24 hours full rest. Practice just enough and save the banging for the performance. When the mind and body both peak synchronously on that day.. u want all that coordinated with the energy on the platform for optimal condition. Also donít forget warming up your hands and fingers. Nothing like cold weather to cramp up your movements especially fingers.

Offline lelle

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Re: How to get pieces to performance standard
Reply #5 on: April 11, 2023, 09:38:18 AM
That depends on the person. When the pressure is on some ppl do worse while others thrive.  Thatís an uncontrollable variable.

There is an interesting psychological phenomenon that has been researched, where people who are genuinely confident at doing something do even better with some pressure/nerves on them, whereas people who lack confidence do worse. Can't remember what it's called. But it correlates with my piano skills deteriorating in front of scrutinizing colleagues, and me often playing way better in front of an appreciative audience :D

Offline ego0720

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Re: How to get pieces to performance standard
Reply #6 on: April 19, 2023, 05:06:39 PM
There is an interesting psychological phenomenon that has been researched, where people who are genuinely confident at doing something do even better with some pressure/nerves on them, whereas people who lack confidence do worse. Can't remember what it's called. But it correlates with my piano skills deteriorating in front of scrutinizing colleagues, and me often playing way better in front of an appreciative audience :D

Interesting you mention that. I was watching #thepianist and the coaches (Lang Lang and Mika) and host Claudia Winkman used a setup where street pianist were playing naturally and were not aware they were being watched. The coaches didn't want their players to know they were watching to see how they performed.  Then for the finale four chosen contestants had to perform on the stage. You can see how nervous they were. And they all did well.

I also prefer not being scrutinized by peers or experts.  It works against me.  I'll admit I'm just ok. I think the universal answer is the degree to which pressure gets to you.  Some pressure is necessary for the person to do better. But there is also the point above which becomes counterproductive.  I tend to picture the pressure to be like rowing on a canoe with two oars.  If you use too much force the canoe doesn't go any faster.  But there is a maximum force to be used that will bring you to an optimum speed.  The canoe just can't go any faster with more force.  The pressure has to be within our ability to overcome.  Too much and we break. If we are within grasp of beating it that's the right amount of pressure to be had.  In a way you have to bring 80% of the skills.  To get to the 100%, I feel at that point it's not the physical practice anymore but the mental.  You are as good as your thoughts.  If you want to fix something you have to focus on tweaking the mind.  Then the fingers will follow.

Offline anacrusis

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Re: How to get pieces to performance standard
Reply #7 on: April 19, 2023, 09:49:33 PM
Interesting you mention that. I was watching #thepianist and the coaches (Lang Lang and Mika) and host Claudia Winkman used a setup where street pianist were playing naturally and were not aware they were being watched. The coaches didn't want their players to know they were watching to see how they performed.  Then for the finale four chosen contestants had to perform on the stage. You can see how nervous they were. And they all did well.

I also prefer not being scrutinized by peers or experts.  It works against me.  I'll admit I'm just ok. I think the universal answer is the degree to which pressure gets to you.  Some pressure is necessary for the person to do better. But there is also the point above which becomes counterproductive.  I tend to picture the pressure to be like rowing on a canoe with two oars.  If you use too much force the canoe doesn't go any faster.  But there is a maximum force to be used that will bring you to an optimum speed.  The canoe just can't go any faster with more force.  The pressure has to be within our ability to overcome.  Too much and we break. If we are within grasp of beating it that's the right amount of pressure to be had.  In a way you have to bring 80% of the skills.  To get to the 100%, I feel at that point it's not the physical practice anymore but the mental.  You are as good as your thoughts.  If you want to fix something you have to focus on tweaking the mind.  Then the fingers will follow.

It's interesting you discuss this because I have noticed something similar. I think of it as I think about driving - it's good that you are a bit on edge and focused when driving so you drive safely. If you are not on edge you can become complacent and not watch the road carefully enough, if too nervous you'll just clench on the wheel and get tunnel vision, worsening your driving ability as well.
 

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