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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 7:47 pm 
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I forgot all about this topic. Alice M - good tip about deciding in advance what you will do.
And if any one wants to know - I tried that prescription medicine at my last recital. It didn't do a thing. :x My heart was pounding just as hard, my hands shook, and I made a couple mistakes in places I never did before. And I was using music! It was the very lowest doseage, though, so I guess I need something stronger. Not sure I will go that next step, or just try dealing with it naturally. I have about five months to decide.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 4:50 am 
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I've been asked to play some Medtner at the Rachmaninoff Society's annual conference. I'm pretty nervous about the whole thing, as I haven't performed in 10 years (at least) and never enjoyed it then either. I think I have to accept that there will be cold hands and shaky arms and missed notes and do it anyway. But boy, just thinking about it makes me nervous.

On the bright side, I'm told Ashkenazy won't be arriving until the following day, so he for sure won't be in the audience. Whew!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 8:13 am 
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Wow, that is a great honor indeed ! How did you get to be singled out for that ?
A nerve racking prospect for sure... but exciting :D

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 9:06 am 
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Probably not well known on this forum is that I am the head of an Elite Committee of Golf where I have a lot contact with the players as well (I have a golf career which I ended 15 years ago). As I both play the piano (and have performed live many many times) and golf, I believe that the same method
can be applied in both areas and I have a few simple but helpful tips. But from preparing well, I would give the following advices.

Before the performance
Do not eat or drink anything with much sugar in as chocolate, Coca-Cola, etc. For sure, you do not need this sugar push this day. Instead, try to be stay low all way through your performance. Do not drink too much coffee for the very same reason. Do not eat anything too close to your performance. Your brain need the blood, not your stomach. I would say not closer than 2 hours. Long before your performance, hide away somewhere and prepare. Don't let anything or anyone interrupt your mind. Keep your concentration on what you are about to do. Do not prepare at the piano with the pieces you are about to play. If you still practice this day, you are way after your schedule. Actually, do not play the pieces at all the very same day as the first performance of the day of a piece you know well is often the best.

One week before the performance, try to be as good as you are able to play the pieces you are about to play 3 times in a row without a single mistake. If you succeed, this will make you very comfortable on stage. If you fail on the last key the 3rd time, restart the session.

On Stage
When you are tensed and nervous, you begin to breath faster and worse, with the upper part of your lounges. When doing is, you push your shoulders a bit upwards which at least in golf has a major impact on the technique of the swing but also on your technique on the piano. In extreme fast breathing, hyper ventilation, you can even faint. But there is a simple method to very much reduce this symptom and that is to breath with your stomach. Not really with your stomach of course but it should feel like you do that. Doing slow breathing with your stomach will within 10 seconds reduce your pulse and your shoulders will lower to a normal position. The difficulty is to remember doing this process when you are nervous so I use to tell my players that this is the ONLY thing they need to remember when they get nervous. 10 seconds of this method and you can go back to normal and avoid a mistake. Once you begin to play, you cannot apply this so it must be done before. Any audience can wait 10 seconds before a pianist begins to play.

Just my few cents on the topic and Schmonz, I wish you my best for the performance and would also like to know how you were able to get this incredible chance! Go for it!

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:15 pm 
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Location: Bloomington, IN
Robert, thanks for the advice! I accepted the invitation and I now have a month and a half to prepare. I need to figure out what to do in order to feel ready; your suggestions are an excellent tee shot.

How did this opportunity come along? It took me by surprise. Earlier in the year, I heard the Rachmaninoff Society was putting on a private performance that included Medtner's G minor sonata. I told the event's organizer why I was joining. Y'all thought I was a big Medtner fan? Her license plate says MEDTNER and the car is a Sonata. We exchanged a few emails about our shared obsession, and that was that.

Well, now the annual conference is coming up, and it's in New York this year, and there's always a recital partly featuring participation from members, and she emailed to say that the program was all Rachmaninov and would I be interested to round it out with some Medtner? I said something to the effect of "That's very nice of you, but how about you hear what I sound like first?", and pointed her here. (Thank you, as always, Piano Society!)

So the short answer is, I inadvertently had the right offhanded conversation with the right Medtner enthusiast several months ago.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:25 pm 
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Location: Obamanation, unfortunately...
I was watching "From the Top" which showcases young, talented musicians (all under 18). There was a boy who played Liszt's Etude in the theme of Paganini (there is a recording here on the site, played by eric helling). Anyways, he said that he eats two bananas before playing and he heard that the potassium in the bananas help curve nervousness.

So eat bananas! (but not too many because they are a high calorie fruit :x )

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 10:26 pm 
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Give practice performances. Do a dress rehearsal, actually dress in whatever clothes in which you'll be giving the recital and play the program through once (as though you had an audience). Record your performance; it adds to the realism. If you can't do that at least two weeks in advance, you are in trouble.

The day of the recital, the trick is to not care what anyone thinks of your playing. I hate to say it, but a little bit of arrogance is a useful tool (perhaps I mean self-confidence). (Of course, never wear it on your sleeve, lest you look like an ass.) A pianist on stage must be sure of his/her worthiness. I guess it all comes down to good old-fashioned hard work in the preceding weeks and months. After you've done ALL the work, then you can walk out and hold your head high.

PLAN YOUR PRACTICE!

Good luck to you Schmonz!

PS to Robert, a very good point about pausing before starting the recital. I saw Helene Grimaud take what seemed like a two minute pause before a concert. Personally, I've taken as long as 45 seconds to begin or sometimes I start playing before my backside hits the bench. Always adjust the bench.

Pete


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2007 8:05 am 
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juufa72 wrote:
I was watching "From the Top" which showcases young, talented musicians (all under 18).

Whoa... they get younger and younger don't they :P

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2007 1:23 pm 
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Yeah...if you're not in Julliard by the time you're potty-trained, you're screwed. :lol:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2007 1:57 pm 
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Location: Obamanation, unfortunately...
I meant 18 but stupid automatic typing confused the 8 and the ")" right next to it for a 8) face. :twisted:

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2007 2:09 pm 
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Yah I know what you meant, and you got defeated by our incredibly clever software...
But I can never resist an opportunity to take the piss :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: how not to be frighten onstage
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 11:16 pm 
Stephen Farrugia wrote:
hello everybody

can you tell me how can i not be frightened on stage in a performance but be relax?



I'll consider the idea of playing on a stage only if I have 1-2 years to practise 4-5 hours a day.
To play surely and with a few compromises 70-90 minutes of music (much better if without score,
one is much more free so) is IMHO a serious question. I agree at 100% with Robert: if one is not able to play perfectly and surely a recital at his home, for at least 3 times, it's not the case.
I have from 1 to 2 hours X day to study: hypotesis 1-I study for 2 years only the same 5-6 pieces and I'll play them on a stage, hypotesis 2 I study and record (I'm able to play the pieces from thebegin to the end for a few days, and after I begin to play other music and the "old" pieces loses his surely) about all the pieces I will.
As amateur I find this 2nd hypotesis much more interesting and enjoying, and It permit to show
the artistic side (if there is) of my playing. I play at a very modest level, but I would have the desire to public playing only : 1) with my piano or on a piano I know very well and I like
2) with the possibility to play for al least 1/2 hour before the beginning of the concert
3) having many possibilities to play with these conditions (one train himself to face his stress,
and this training has no sense for 2-3 occasions). And I repeat, the fundamental condition
is: to play surely many consecutive times the recital program=many hours of study for many
months+big motivation.
In these days, as when I was a boy, I play in public occasions (1 or 1000 listener, there is no
difference) about as when I play for myself. The anxiety in my case has a weight, but not so heavy to destroy a piece well and surely known (and not magic to make sure the passages so-and-so).
I remember situations when I played well the pieces I knew well, and other situations
where I played so-and-so or worse the pieces I knew so-and-so or worse.
For who will or must to play in public situations, a suggestion of Andor Foldes: To know exaggerately
well the first page and the first difficult passage of each piece. To play these passagges possibly
with closed eyes.

All best,
Sandro

(pianist-recorder, not in the sense of the flute)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2007 9:50 pm 
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Location: Bloomington, IN
Well, I've done it, and I think it went well. I say "think" because sometime before I went on stage, all the expected nervousness evaporated and was replaced with a strange, semi-lucid mental state. In the green room I began to feel almost like taking a nap when I was called out. I sat down and my thought process went like so: "Oh, here's a piano. Neat. Big one, too. I know something I can play. Here you go." I know it felt good under the hands, with a few small mistakes of course, but I have no idea how it sounded and won't know until they send me the video. :-)

I don't really need to perform again for a while, but if that's what performing can often feel like, I can see why people become performers. I enjoyed it very much.

Thank you all again for your suggestions on how to prepare. Every last one of them helped.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 1:47 pm 
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Congratulations! It sounds like you were able to perform well under pressure and that is a very valuable quality. I hope you are equally satisfied when the video arrives.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 1:35 pm 
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Bah! My performance was recorded onto a dud DVD (all the other DVDs from that day are fine). I've contacted the audio engineer to see if at least some audio is available.


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