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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 5:56 pm 
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alf wrote:
Don't forget the Fantasia Op.49. All three are unique masterpieces in their genre (the Fantasia is all but a Fantasy, I actually couldn't find more solidly organized music than that).

Thanks Alf for mentioning the Fantasia. I didn't know that piece and after listening renditions of great pianists from the old generation on YT I must say I love that piece!

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 9:11 pm 
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Location: Obamanation, unfortunately...
Just play Tausig's nocturne and you should get 1st place! :lol: :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 4:22 am 
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juufa72 wrote:
Just play Tausig's nocturne and you should get 1st place! :lol: :wink:


I'm too afraid to look that one up....

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 3:41 pm 
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Well, the deadline for applying in the competition and come and passed. It is now the 6th of April and I still have not heard anything about whether I am in the competition or not. I'm thinking this is not a good sign. :(

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:26 pm 
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I just took a gander at the Cliburn website and at the very bottom of the Amateur Competition page it states that "applicants will be notified by April 1, 2011." (http://www.cliburn.org/index.php?page=amateur_competition) Good grief, does it take that long for them to figure that out?

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Though everything else may appear shallow and repulsive, even the smallest task in music is so absorbing, and carries us so far away from town, country, earth, and all worldly things, that it is truly a blessed gift of God.

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:49 pm 
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hmmm...it doesn't say anything like that in this competition. Wish it did so I'd know something. I've been practicing but I would step it up several notches if I knew that I'm in. At the same time, what a bunch of wasted time I've spent practicing some of my 'old' pieces, when I could have been learning 'new' pieces.

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:21 am 
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Okay, take me to an insane asylum! Anybody got recommendations? :lol:

For some reason I got your competition confused with someone else's (which was the Amateur Cliburn), and now I realize that the Cliburn deadline does not apply at all to your situation. :oops: Sorry for my utter airheadedness.

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Though everything else may appear shallow and repulsive, even the smallest task in music is so absorbing, and carries us so far away from town, country, earth, and all worldly things, that it is truly a blessed gift of God.

Felix Mendelssohn


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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:44 pm 
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That's okay, Sarah. I thought you showed me that so I would see how long it can take before an applicant receives word. In that Cliburn contestant, it says a month. I really hope I don't have to wait that long. I've already waited over a month since I sent in the application.

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:58 pm 
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I very much hope that you can know soon... waiting must be agony. I guess a painful wait is an evil of bureaucracy?

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Though everything else may appear shallow and repulsive, even the smallest task in music is so absorbing, and carries us so far away from town, country, earth, and all worldly things, that it is truly a blessed gift of God.

Felix Mendelssohn


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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 3:37 am 
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Thank you, Sarah. It is hard. I'll probably just blog about it right here, as my family is tired of me.

So, day #7 is now done - nothing in my mailbox. "Oh yes, wait a minute Mr. postman..." (that's me singing)

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 11:20 pm 
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Day #10. Mailman has come and gone - still no word. I really think that I didn't make it in; I went to their website just now and they have a new thing on it where competitors can log on with a special password. I never got a password.... :(

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 2:21 am 
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:cry: I am so sorry. They should at least be polite enough to tell you whether you're in or not! To not inform an applicant of their status is rather rude, according to my book. I wonder if there's any way you can contact them...

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Though everything else may appear shallow and repulsive, even the smallest task in music is so absorbing, and carries us so far away from town, country, earth, and all worldly things, that it is truly a blessed gift of God.

Felix Mendelssohn


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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:51 am 
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"Contestants will be notified by April 15th, 2010 detailing the results of their application. Accepted applicants will be sent a Welcome Package with more information by May 1st, 2010."

(from here: http://chicagopianocompetition.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/Application-Form-with-housing-FINAL.pdf)

I'm afraid you might need to wait to 4 more days.

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Alfonso Bertazzi, amateur pianist.


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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 1:32 pm 
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OMG :shock: :shock: ! I never saw that before! Pretty sure it was not even there!!! :shock: :shock:
Thank you Alfonso. I am soooo relieved - for today, anyway.

So four more days - that's Thursday - oh boy - that feeling of relief just flew out the window...

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 7:35 pm 
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All the notifications of this topic were in my spam box, so I didn't read the latest new until now.
I was happy to read that you are a bit relieved Monica. Four days are not so long, if you more concentrate yourself in practicing :wink:

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"The love for music. The respect for the composer. The desire to express something that reaches and moves the listener." (Montserrat Caballé about her main motivation for becoming a singer)


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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:54 pm 
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hyenal wrote:
Four days are not so long, if you more concentrate yourself in practicing :wink:


That's my problem these days - I can't concentrate...

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 3:17 am 
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well....guess I don't have to wait four more days. I just opened my email and there was the notification.

I'm in!!! :D :D :D


(eek! - I've never done anything like this before... :shock: )

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

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my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:43 am 
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pianolady wrote:
well....guess I don't have to wait four more days. I just opened my email and there was the notification.

I'm in!!! :D :D :D


(eek! - I've never done anything like this before... :shock: )


Good, now go study! :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:13 am 
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It's a kind of matter of course, when you were not in, who would be in? :D
Have much fun at preparing!!

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"The love for music. The respect for the composer. The desire to express something that reaches and moves the listener." (Montserrat Caballé about her main motivation for becoming a singer)


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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 2:13 pm 
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alf wrote:
Good, now go study! :lol:


Ok! :lol:


hyenal wrote:
Have much fun at preparing!!


Ok! :lol:

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:24 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
well....guess I don't have to wait four more days. I just opened my email and there was the notification.

I'm in!!! :D :D :D


(eek! - I've never done anything like this before... :shock: )


Congratulations! :D I'm so very happy for you. I thought you'd make it... the judges know good when they see it :wink:

May you have many merry hours of practicing! (But not too many! As I recently learned, do not overpractice and get a hand or arm injury. Take lots of breaks and don't get tense. :wink: ).

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Though everything else may appear shallow and repulsive, even the smallest task in music is so absorbing, and carries us so far away from town, country, earth, and all worldly things, that it is truly a blessed gift of God.

Felix Mendelssohn


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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:28 pm 
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Thank you, Sarah. You've been cheering for me for awhile now, and I very much appreciate what you and everybody else has said a lot!

Good advice - I'll try to be careful, although I already have problems with pain so...well....at least I have a big bottle of ibuprofen at the ready! :)

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:56 pm 
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Hi Monica,

I just wanted to say congrats to you ! I'm so glad all your hard work has turned out to be profitable.
Even if rarely post on the forum, I often come here to catch up with your news... so I'll wait for next episode now :-)
Good luck for the second part !

Henri

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 1:05 am 
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Hi Henri, and thank you!

The next episode will be the hard part (all the practicing) - or maybe actually the episode after that (the competition) will the hardest. I dunno - I'm thinking that I'll be in a daze by then....

btw - I'm wondering if any members have every tried beta-blockers? A friend of mine is trying to convince me to try them. She says that taking beta-blockers among performers/musicians is more common than you think. Anyone have an opinion about this?

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:22 pm 
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Monica, I had to google to know what is the beta blocker...
It's medication, thus has side effects, too, right? I wouldn't take it. I believe the self-trust is more important. :|

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"The love for music. The respect for the composer. The desire to express something that reaches and moves the listener." (Montserrat Caballé about her main motivation for becoming a singer)


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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 3:13 am 
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Actually, the literature says there are no side effects, plus they are non-addicting. From what I've read, beta blockers sound very tempting. Performance anxiety (stage fright) always, always, always gets the best of me! and if I can get a handle on it this one time, I would be happy. But we'll see - I'm going to talk to my doctor about it soon.

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 3:53 am 
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While I haven't used beta-blockers myself (yet... :wink:) and so cannot vouch for side effects or positive improvement from using them, I do think they may be a good alternative for those who have bad stage fright. I was recently reading a book (Gerald Klickstein's Musician's Way - he has some articles on the topic here http://musiciansway.com/performance.shtml#Stress ) and the author was quite positive about using them, especially in high-stress situations (and competitions certainly count as that! :wink: ).

To avoid any suprises, I'd just try them out by using them several times while playing for family and friends; you can record the performances and critique them later so that you can know exactly how beta-blockers affect you personally.

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Though everything else may appear shallow and repulsive, even the smallest task in music is so absorbing, and carries us so far away from town, country, earth, and all worldly things, that it is truly a blessed gift of God.

Felix Mendelssohn


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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:05 pm 
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Thanks for that information, Sarah. Also good idea about trying them out beforehand. If I go ahead with taking bb's, I'll post the results here.

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 5:14 am 
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Congratulations Monica! You are now at the start line of this marathon run!

I thought I'd share some relevant thoughts, without getting into pharmacology, on the topic of beta-blockers since a few musicians are already curious...

Never take beta-blockers without consulting a physician. If you're intent on using them, you have to experiment with the dosage in different situations under medical supervision, way before any performance. These medications, such as propanolol (inderal), block the adrenaline (epinephrine) receptors that cause the "fight-or-flight" response. Blocking beta receptors can cause lower heart rate, decreased force of heart contractions, bronchial constriction, uterine contractions, decrease blood pressure, decrease in tremor, and relieve migraines. If a patient has asthma, diabetes, Raynaud's Phenomena, or congestive heart failure, beta-blockers should NOT be prescribed.

The side effects are minimal when used in lower doses, but may include dry mouth, low heart rate and blood pressure, rash, cold extremities, fainting, lethargy, etc. Beta-blockers don't inhibit cognitive abilities. They don't improve your muscle timing. A musician's response may vary due to dose and/or efficacy. Peak response occurs in 1-1.5hrs, so you need to time it just right.

I've never took them or needed them myself. However, there are other options if you don't want to take medications.

A Non-Medication Approach: Redirect your anxiety in convincing yourself that you have a story to tell. Use your talent, technique, and understanding of the music to conquer the judges and audience. Identify your anxiety symptoms - sweaty palms, racing heart, shallow/rapid breathing, forgetfulness, upset stomach, etc.? For example, if you have rapid breathing or heart rate, learning relaxation techniques prior to a performance will help. Or if you have nausea or other stomach problems, taking a simple pill to calm your GI might help. Positive thoughts and reminding yourself of your strengths can reduce negative thoughts as well.

Good Luck! :D

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:46 pm 
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Thank you, George, and thanks for the information. I'm not totally decided whether I'll try the bb's or not. But those other options you suggest don't work for me that well. I've tried!

I just want so badly to be able to play/perform as well as I can as like when I'm in my own living room. I'm very frustrated at the whole thing, so that's why I'm considering options. I have an appointment to see my doctor this coming Tuesday.

But I'm also wondering if you (or anyone else here) has ever been hypnotized? I have not and it actually that scares me more than the drugs. But at least it's natural, sort of...

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 7:39 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
I just want so badly to be able to play/perform as well as I can as like when I'm in my own living room.

Monica, I'm afraid no one among us amatures is able to be so. Everybody has more or less stage fright...
Anyway I hope your doctor will help you!

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"The love for music. The respect for the composer. The desire to express something that reaches and moves the listener." (Montserrat Caballé about her main motivation for becoming a singer)


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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 1:28 am 
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Hi Monica, I thought you were intent on bb so I didn't go into any detail with other options that are available. However, I am not sure that you'll benefit from a quick remedy with the alternative methods as they require more time and practice to implement. Yes, hypnosis can work, but I'd rather go up on stage than to go through that.

Remember you're not alone up there as everybody will have stage fright. Amateur or professional, there is always stage fright. Sure, if you've been playing in recitals on a regular basis, it will make the entire experience much easier. My teacher used to say that you lose 30% of your entire performance right off the top because of the stage, wrong notes, etc. I had slips in my rounds, it wasn't perfect. You can't play 100%, no one can, and you won't have to be at 100% even to win. Anxiety will always coexist on stage. It's not anxiety that you're combating, it's fear itself. Allow the love of the music to be more powerful than the fear itself. You'll learn to affect a change in attitude as you overcome fear with a greater force, that being the power of music. Think of yourself as a messenger on stage, communicate that message effectively.

If you have a choice, inquire to play first on the program. Worse than stage fright is having to listen to all the other pianists while waiting for your turn. That's what happened to me. Out of 6 finalists, I had to go on last - Zoinks!

Perhaps good news: In your case, you might actually play first if they're going in alphabetical order... Yay! :D (Applause!) :D

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 4:39 am 
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Oh, George - I wish there was a way for you to come with me and say all these things to me right before I have to play. And I am not going first - the schedule is not alphabetical. I am to play on the first day - the 9th player - 11:36 in the morning to be exact. And I just noticed something - there were only supposed to be 50 competitors, but there are 61 scheduled. Oh well....

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:46 am 
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Monica, I am going to tell you to face fear with a smile. :D That is the first step. It's a good start to disperse negative energy that can build up. The second step is to remove the word "competition" from your vocabulary. It brings excess stress that you don't need. "Tournament" might impose a more sedate psychological state. Now you can proceed... If I was anywhere near Chicago, I'd meet up with you to give you all the confidence and advice.

Practice the most difficult passages in your pieces separately. If you are prepared, the fingering is secure, there is no need to become worried, frustrated, or panic at any point. Once you have mastered the pieces, you have to part with the living room mentality, and devise ways to accept the stage as your new path. Fall upon your experiences in recitals. I don't need to remind you (maybe I should) about your prodigious output of recordings. Every time you see that red record light, you know what it's like - the spotlight is on you. You've done it so many times that you are already conditioned to deal with such situations... Perhaps more than you think.

Remember some of the things I said earlier in the thread. In addition to the common relaxation techniques, try yawning followed by deep breaths to give you more oxygen and energy before your turn; make sure your fingers are warm; take your time on stage to make sure of your bench height, distance, pedals, any debris/moisture on keyboard; carry a handkerchief with you; and wear comfortable clothes (not too warm/cold) and shoes (I hope you found them:). Oftentimes we play faster tempos on stage, and can get into trouble fast. I've done this. Therefore, it's important that you have the tempo in your head before your hands are on the keyboard. The last day should be spent sleeping, no practicing, because you'll only second guess yourself.

Everyone handles stress and anxiety a little differently. Convince yourself that you will perform better under pressure and stress. I encourage you to embrace whatever comes your way and conquer it. You'll soon realize that the anxiety will be there, but will not pose a larger threat to your performance. Even if it's not in your temperament, your frame of mind has to remain calm, collective, and rational at all times until you play the last chord on stage. Tune out what the others are playing, please! Focus on your message, your music!

Make the process fun... And remember the importance of starting your routine with a smile... :D

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:50 pm 
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This is all great advice, George. And I've told these things to many other people many times, but it's different and a little strange to hear it directed towards me! I think I'm going to make a list with your and everybody else's words of advice and keep it near my piano.

I have to say something now, though - and I hope you don't take it badly because I so much appreciate your (and all other members) time spent in trying to encourage me - but I have to stop thinking like how I've been thinking lately. Actually, when I first became aware of this competition, I had a different mindset. I saw the competition simply as something fun to experience - I'd be among other people similar to myself, get an insider's look at how competitions are run, and learn about and hear lots of piano music.

But then in a short period of time, I began to think that, ok I'm actually a competitor and thus have to push myself to practice more and more, and who am I competing against, etc.... Then yesterday I looked at the list of competitors and randomly chose some names and searched for them online. I found some of them on Youtube and turns out that at least one of them was a winner in another amateur competition and another one was a finalist in yet another competition and they are both very good players and play harder stuff than I do, and well....it made me think that the people running 'my' competition must have needed someone on the lower end of the scale (like me) so they can have an easy time eliminating contestants in the first round. I may be a big dreamer, but I'm also practical-minded and know that I don't have a chance in hell in making it passed the first round - not with all these other competitors who are much better players.

All this has brought me back to my original train of thought, which is, and like you have said, to think more in terms of simply enjoying myself and being happy to be in the competition in the first place. That's all. So, from now on I will try to stop bemoaning how scared and nervous I am and all that, and just try to stay focused on getting my music prepared to the best of my ability. Also, there really is something more important that I must think about: What should I wear? :lol:

One more thing - If I start getting all weird again - thinking like an actual competitor - please and I mean Please! tell me to knock it off - that I am supposed to be having fun with this, which is exactly what you and the others have said and of which I totally agree (but I still may need reminding...er...did that make sense?...you know what I mean, I hope...sorry this got so long).

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:17 am 
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Quote:
Yesterday I sent in my application for the Chicago Amateur Piano Competition. I struggled a lot with the decision and have been working since early December in preparing an audition CD. I don't expect to win or anything like that - just want the experience, that's all. So now I have to wait to see if I am even accepted as a competitor - they are taking fifty, and I have no idea what they are looking for so it's not guaranteed that I am in. I hope I don't have to wait long to find out - patience is not one of my virtues. Keep your fingers crossed!
This is how it all started... These were your thoughts, two months ago. It's not just me here, I am sure I speak on everybody's behalf in stating that what you're experiencing is normal as the time approaches. You've taken on a big challenge. Make amends with any negativity that comes your way by simply denouncing it with a smile!

Quote:
"It is dreadful when something weighs on your mind, not to have a soul to unburden yourself to. You know what I mean. I tell my piano the things I used to tell you." ~ Frederic Chopin
I am going to use the content of your signature to remind you of the only reality that should linger in your mind over this entire experience. Your signature sums up your beliefs about the good intentions and musical inspiration, well before this competition came along. Don't take my word for it, listen to your muse. The context here is still appropriate, "It is dreadful when something weighs in on your mind, not to have a soul to unburden yourself to." - So stop looking online to see who will be playing, never mind if you're playing 9th, never mind if someone plays a more difficult piece, etc..... Allow only the musical sentiments to come forth on stage by "telling the piano on stage the things you used to tell in your living room..." - Live vicariously through the composer's music on that stage piano, because you can't address to anybody else. It's just you, the piano, and the message. Just play it because it's not about winning, as we both agree. Both the audience and judges will love you for how you play, not for what you play. Nobody, can fault you for keeping your musical ambitions high. All that should linger in your mind is to make your musical message soar to the best of your ability.

I will part with this Les Brown quote: Shoot for the moon; even if you miss you'll be among the stars... And what a sight that will be!

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 4:49 am 
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Oh, George - now you're making me cry - I don't know what's wrong with me lately. I only know that I am happiest but also the saddest when I am home alone and sitting at my piano, which is pretty much every day. That's why I relate to that quotation in my signature so deeply. But that's okay. Everything is fine and I'm going to go through these next two months with as much positive attitude as I can muster. I'll report back here if anything interesting develops. Meanwhile, I can't thank you enough for listening to me. If there is anything I can ever do for you, please don't hesitate to ask. :)

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:58 am 
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Well, it had to be expected that the level of applicants would be as staggeringly high as in other so-called 'amateur' contests. Some of these people can hardly be called amateurs, often having completed a conservatory training alongside with their (usually high-profile) training, and dome masterclasses with famous pianists. The real amateurs like us can simply not compete with that. But even to be admitted is an honour, I guess, and to participate should be fun, even if it's only for one round. As long as you realize you have nothing to lose.

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 12:36 pm 
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Monica, I'm very impressed by your whole process... Yes, we (at least you and me) haven't won any competition, don't have a degree in music... All we have is the love toward the music!
BTW you have raised an important question for all the female amature pianists:
Quote:
Also, there really is something more important that I must think about: What should I wear? :lol:

It's actually the question I have always when I have to play something in front of others. I don't have a cool dress (and it would be funny if I wear such a thing and play only a couple of pieces), we women have no typical dress code for the stage things.... (again after the SPPC discussion, how lucky the men are!)
At this point Helene Grimaud comes to my mind: She wears differently. She wears pants, suit-like things.
Anyway tell us about your final decision about the wearing! :D

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:31 am 
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techneut wrote:
But even to be admitted is an honour

That's what my sister keeps telling me. She's more excited than I am - mainly because she wants to go shopping with me.

@Hye-Jin, Yes - guys are so lucky (again) that they don't have to think about what to wear. We women have endless choices and I know I'm going to agonize over this probably as much as I did when having to choose which pieces to play! I do have some pant suits, but I'm thinking a dress would be more comfortable, or skirt, or...I dunno... . I looked, though, and nowhere in the rules of the competition does it state that competitors cannot play in their pajamas, so maybe.... :wink:

btw - I saw my doctor today and now have a bottle of beta-blockers in my possession. I have to do some experimenting to see what dosage will be right for me - meaning I need to put myself into some nervous setting so I can take a pill (or two) (or three) and see what happens (monitor my heart-rate). I do have a neighborhood piano recital coming up in two weeks, so that will be my first 'real' test. Other than that, I don't know what other stress-inducing/ performance-anxiety tests I can do. Maybe video recording - I'm usually pretty nervous when I do that...

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 5:49 am 
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good luck on this competition Monica.
As you prepare for it, if you ever would like outside help, an outside ear to listen to you and make comments, please don't hesitate to contact me

Concerning the stage fright, a few points if I may:

-all of us professional concert pianists, we all have stage fright, however, in my opinion, what make us less likely to crack
under pressure/stage fright is the fact that generally speaking, the majority of us have learned to accept the stage fright/pressure
and welcome it
How so?this brings my 2nd point

-perform in front of people as often as possible. In your case, given that the competition is in June, I would say that you need to
perform if front of anyone and everyone on a daily basis. Friends, family, children,strangers. Anybody and anywhere.
Not sure where you live, but I am sure there are house concerts in your area, library series and other community events where you can play.

-my 3rd point is to play for professionals as much as possible. Get as much as guidance and experience playing for professionals as you can.
Not only will you get great feedback from any of us, feedback which you will be able to use, but you will also get used to play in front of professionals
and you will more or less get used to being judged.
And to play for some of us, you don't have to travel anywhere. Just get on Skype and play for us.

-last point is even more important than the above ones. And that is positive thinking.
Think happy thoughts, think about something/someone that makes you happy, transfer that feeling all over your body, and create a barrier between you playing, any negative thoughts you might have and whoever listens.
You say you like to play for yourself at your home. Create this image in your head each time you play.
A book I would like to suggest for you to read is "Lessons with Kumi", written by Michael Colgrass. Colgrass is a composer and a performer.
His book is exactly about stage fright and how to conquer it.
And trust in yourself, be confident of yourself and of your playing.

At the end of the day, everyone needs to remember that a competition is a different beast for anyone.
Anyone can falter and anyone can succeed.
Training for years doesn't guarantee anything in a competition setting.

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 1:10 pm 
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Thank you, Avguste. You have some very good tips. I will be seeing my former teacher for some coaching sessions next month. He's been in many competitions before and knows the ropes. I do agree with you that I should play in front of people as much as possible. Most likely that would take the edge off my nerves after awhile.

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:25 pm 
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That is a good step Monica, but I would go further.
I would schedule a performance for anyone that would listen on a daily basis. Not just for your teacher.
Because at the end of the day, we are all comfortable playing for our teachers.
The goal is to get you out of your comfort zone and get used to being out of your comfort zone, used to have
the light shine on you.

While I am thinking, I would also suggest you go with a winning attitude. Go there to win it all!!!
Whether you do or don't, doesn't matter. What matters is to have the goal of winning each and every time.

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:22 pm 
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Monica,

If you need ideas about where to play, contact the area nursing homes and retirement homes. I know many of them would love some free entertainment. So often these places get all sorts of entertainment at Christmas time and then are forgotten for the rest of the year.

As far as what to wear -- go for the Jessica Rabbit look -- lots of cleavage and form fitting with 6" stilettos. That will certainly wow the judges (at least the men :wink: )

Scott

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 5:17 pm 
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RSPIll wrote:
As far as what to wear -- go for the Jessica Rabbit look -- lots of cleavage and form fitting with 6" stilettos. That will certainly wow the judges (at least the men :wink: )

Oh yes. A good ass might help too :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:21 pm 
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oh you guys... :lol: I do already have stilettos and some other sexy stuff and I'm working on the ass part at the gym nearly every day. but hmmm....for sure that's another idea to think about (not really...well maybe...). However, yes there are two female judges so if I wear something more 'frumpy' then maybe I'll get their sympathy.(?)

@Avguste and Scott - I think your ideas about playing for people everyday and also going to the nursing homes are great. Except, I'm too scared to do that. I'm very shy in person and I could never just call someone up and say, "hey, I'm coming over there to play your piano and you have to listen to me." But you've got the wheels in my head turning - maybe I can try doing some of those things little by little.

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 11:13 pm 
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Could you get a couple of friends together to share a recital at a retirement center? That way you won't be playing the entire program yourself but would still get the performance experience.

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:51 pm 
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That's a good idea, Sarah. Thank you. :)

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:32 pm 
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The people in retirement home LOVE to listen to someone, who plays the music for them, I'm sure from some personal experiences in Germany (and I think the American old people are same at this point). Some old ladys say very loudly during the performance "Oh, beautiful!!!" So don't be disturbed by such reactions :wink:
And also the staffs are wating for such volunteers. Give it a try and you will know that!

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 7:33 pm 
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oh, okay.... :)

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