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 Post subject: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 1:23 pm 
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This was announced a couple days ago:

http://chicagopianocompetition.org/


I'm going to do this again and would love to have company! So start practicing and saving up some money for airfare, gas, or whatever and come to Chicago (I can be your private tour guide). It will be fun!! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 8:48 pm 
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This is very interesting indeed! It is the first time I hear of such a competition and they certainly give ample time for preparation. Would it not be fun to take part? In my case, should I decide to enter (and will need llit of practice for that!), either I go alone or I talk the good Uncle into giving my wife a visa.

Dream, dream away!

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"Please do not shoot the pianist
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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 4:11 am 
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richard66 wrote:
This is very interesting indeed! It is the first time I hear of such a competition and they certainly give ample time for preparation. Would it not be fun to take part? In my case, should I decide to enter (and will need llit of practice for that!), either I go alone or I talk the good Uncle into giving my wife a visa.

Dream, dream away!


Yes, it would be fun to take part. I hope you and many others here will join me. And yes, nothing like entering a piano competition to make one up the practicing :!:

I often do piano-related things by myself so my husband isn't sitting around bored to death. But maybe your wife is different. And just curious - what does your good uncle have to do with this?

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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 7:19 am 
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:D Good Uncle Sam! I did have an uncle thereabouts, but he has since passed away. I do have a brother over there and a niece who is starting a signing career:

http://livingattheopera.com/blog/2011/0 ... t-herring/

While looking this up I found my picture ilustrating an article on the city of Willmering in Germany. :D I did not even know it existed!

My wife would be very offended to be left behind. The three days at the maternity were already too much for her! And our daughter would miss out on the fun. All those pianos to play!

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"Please do not shoot the pianist
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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 1:07 pm 
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Sorry Richard, I must be missing something here. Doesn't your wife live in the U.S. with you? I don't think you need a visa to come to Chicago....haha.
Also, the competition is not a place for kids, but there a lot of very nice panos to play.

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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 4:42 pm 
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No, we do not live in the US. What made you think we live there?

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"Please do not shoot the pianist
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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 4:52 pm 
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Well...I don't really know now... Sorry, guess I am mistaken.

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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 6:01 pm 
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No problem... You were almost right in a way, but let that be a mystery so far. 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 6:59 pm 
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Richard, for some reason I think you're "down under."

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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 8:57 pm 
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No no Eddy, I am on top all right! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 11:26 pm 
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This does sound like fun. I love Chitown but haven't had a chance to get up there for sometime. Used to be able to take the old C&EI RR to the Dearborn Street Station. Now we have to go 50 mi. S.W. to get a train to go 100 mi. north of where we started. Even if I can't enter (I do derive most of my income right now playing the piano), I would love to come up and cheer everyone else on. We could have a great night out in the Loop and Wrigleyville and shop the Magnificent Mile..... (I'm waxing nostalgic.) And I have to have a lunch in the Walut Room at Marshall Fields, I mean Macy's :evil:

Scott


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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 1:55 am 
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Very interesting Monica. How often does this occur? Maybe I would consider for next time.

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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 3:57 am 
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@Scott - Right on to all of those things! A weekend in Chicago with some piano friends would be a blast!!
Besides Macy's taking over Marshall Fields, another change I can't get used to is the Willis Tower, :evil: formerly the Sears Tower, which it will always be in my mind...

@Eddy - Chicago held its first amateur piano competition last summer. It went so well and was a such a big success that the organizers have decided to do it every two years. I am so glad that I was in it last time. Even though I was scared to death, I actually made it through alive :lol: and...well...it was an amazing experience :!:

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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 1:49 pm 
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@Monica: Very nice Monica. I'm happy for you and wish you a wonderful experience next year. Maybe, Lord willing, we may meet face to face in 3 years!

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"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 5:25 pm 
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Is one year not enough for you to prepare, Eddy?

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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 5:36 pm 
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Quote:
@Scott - Right on to all of those things! A weekend in Chicago with some piano friends would be a blast!!
Besides Macy's taking over Marshall Fields, another change I can't get used to is the Willis Tower, formerly the Sears Tower, which it will always be in my mind...


I must be out of the loop (or "The Loop" as the case may be). When did they change the name of the Sears Tower??? What next, renaming Wrigley Field to "Amazon.com Field" or Soldier's Field to "Oprah Winfrey Field"???

Scott


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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 6:29 pm 
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Sears Tower info:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willis_Tower


They better not touch Wrigley Field!

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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 11:13 am 
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I'm sure you'll have a great time. Always interesting and stimulating to mix with fellow pianists. Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 2:41 pm 
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It really is an interesting experience. And thank you, Andrew, but I haven't even entered yet. The applications won't be ready until the first of July. In the meantime, I will just keep gently prodding you all to enter along with me....so...PLEASE ENTER THE COMPETITION WITH ME! :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 3:31 pm 
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Maybe you could tell us a little about the first edition, seeing that you took part. That way we know what to expect and how to prepare.

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"Please do not shoot the pianist
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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 2:12 am 
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Well, first you have to submit an audition CD of recent recordings - about ten minutes worth. Then you wait to see if you are accepted. I think this year there will be many more applicants so it might be even harder to get in. For the actual competition - the way it was last year and probably similar next year, is that there are three rounds. You play for about 10 minutes in the first round, about 20 minutes in the second round, and 30 minutes in final round. Repertoire can be practically any classical piano music but cannot be repeated in subsequent rounds. Also, you don't have to play by memory - they will supply a page-turner if you need one.

One thing I know for sure is that you cannot be too prepared! The level of playing is extremely high - really I felt some of the competitors were professional-level. But still, I liked the fact that most of the competitors were 'normal' people like me ( :lol: ) who just happen to play piano well but happened to also make slips or have memory lapses. And only about 12 people go on to the second round (last year the first round had about 55 competitors). I was eliminated after the first round, but I didn't mind because I was so relieved that I had done it in the first place. It was a real big personal challenge to myself - something I just had to do sometime in my life.

So all you have to do now is pick out your pieces and start practicing. I don't think I had a whole year to prepare last time like we do this time so this is a good thing. Let's hope you, me, and anyone else here is ready to play our heart out next May! One more thing - you get to play on a Fazioli, which is so sweet....!

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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 6:44 am 
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This all sounds feaseable. 50 hours of repertoire is not out of this world.

I would say there are amateurs and amateurs. In their definition a someone who could have been a concert pianist but who happens to make his living as a diamond merchant or an astonaut would qualify. Reading many of the biographies on the site I notice many mambers are in that category, for example (not that any of them sells diamonds or lives on the moon). I have heard of pianists who gave up because they did not want to live out of a suitcase and to lead a normal life.

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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 9:36 am 
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richard66 wrote:
This all sounds feaseable. 50 hours of repertoire is not out of this world.

I would say there are amateurs and amateurs. In their definition a someone who could have been a concert pianist but who happens to make his living as a diamond merchant or an astonaut would qualify. Reading many of the biographies on the site I notice many mambers are in that category, for example (not that any of them sells diamonds or lives on the moon). I have heard of pianists who gave up because they did not want to live out of a suitcase and to lead a normal life.


50 hours? :shock: Hehe.

Yes, I've noticed that the definition of amateur tends to be a bit spurious in the competition context. I don't think that someone who has been conservatoire-trained, done piano as a career, but then moved on to work as something else is really an amateur just because they don't derive an income from the piano.


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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 1:38 pm 
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It's a very long competition.... :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 3:28 pm 
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I meant a total of 50 minutes a person! Yes, for those listening... it might well be 50 hours!

I am not being self-depricating here, but I am not sure I would be (at present at least) capable even of being accepted. I certainly feel very modest when I read some of the biographies of the "Amateurs".

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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 9:07 pm 
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I know what you mean, some of the bios are intimidating. But if you go into a competition like this with the notion of just challenging yourself, and not trying to 'beat' those big-shots, then you'll have a better experience. Plus, I heard a lot of music I had not heard before so I got some good ideas for pieces that I wanted to play myself some day. And then it's just sort of fun to see how people behave at a function like this. You see all kinds....

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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 2:30 pm 
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What is the story I was told once by my earstwhile teacher? That at a competition at the Paris Conservatoire one girl came along and sat. Then the started to adjust the height of the stool. Then she sat down. Adusted again, adjusted, sat... At which point the judges told her, "Young lady, you may leave: you are disqualified."

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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 3:16 pm 
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Oh boy, that sounds quite scary!

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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:21 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
Chicago Dog Friendly Hotel
__________
What is the story I was told once by my earstwhile teacher? That at a competition at the Paris Conservatoire one girl came along and sat. Then the started to adjust the height of the stool. Then she sat down. Adusted again, adjusted, sat... At which point the judges told her, "Young lady, you may leave: you are disqualified."

______
What a bummer!!!!
Poor thing :(
Hopefully by now, she has made it big and the judge is kicking himself/herself for disqualifying her!

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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:57 pm 
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I just found out that I am accepted - that I'll be in the competition in May. Yay! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:46 pm 
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Congratulations and good luck! Look for me in 2014 :|

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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:56 am 
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musical-md wrote:
Congratulations and good luck! Look for me in 2014 :|

Thank you, Eddy!
Ok, I hope so... :)

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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:41 pm 
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That's great news! Hope you have a wonderful time.


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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:53 am 
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andrew wrote:
That's great news! Hope you have a wonderful time.

I appreciate that, Andrew. Thank you! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:47 am 
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Monica,

Quote:
I just found out that I am accepted - that I'll be in the competition in May. Yay! :D


Congratulations! I went to the website and I think I may be able to go to it :) . I graduate from SIU in early May, so I should be in Chicago around that time.

What piece(s) are you playing?!? Or is it a surprise? :P

I was looking on the website but I didn't find a place where tickets are sold. Do you pay for them the night of?

Riley

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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:46 pm 
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pianoman342 wrote:
Congratulations! I went to the website and I think I may be able to go to it :) . I graduate from SIU in early May, so I should be in Chicago around that time.

Thank you, Riley. You, Andrew, and Eddy make me feel good. :)

pianoman342 wrote:
What piece(s) are you playing?!? Or is it a surprise? :P

I was looking on the website but I didn't find a place where tickets are sold. Do you pay for them the night of?

Riley


I would love to see you in Chicago :!: Looks like I'm playing at about 11:15 on the morning of May 23rd, but if you can't come that day, I will also be there most of the other days too. Most likely I will not advance after the first round, but I like to watch/listen to the other competitors too. You hear some really great music.

Regarding tickets - I don't know, but I'll check into it. As to what I'm playing - they will probably post that information when it gets closer but right now I'd like to keep it secret. I'll tell you on Facebook though.

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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 3:37 pm 
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Six days, nine minutes, and 10 seconds to go....but who's counting... :)

Here is some information on the event if anyone is interested:

http://chicagopianocompetition.org/home/

They will be streaming all of it on live tv too.(I play on Wednesday morning at 11:23 Chicago time) The site is called Gigity.TV. You have to set up an account in order to view the broadcast, but it's easy to do. Here is the link:

http://gigity.tv/home.php

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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 4:03 pm 
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Good luck Monica! What a great experience. I'm sure you'll do well. I look forward to watching the stream.

Matt

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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 1:48 pm 
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Thank you, Matthew. :) I need a lot of luck - I'm sure I will make a total fool of myself....
Sorry I have not listened to your new recordings; I have no time currently.

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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 1:43 am 
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No worries Monica. No matter what happens, you will not look like a fool. Nothing ventured, nothing gained right? Even if you don't "gain" a 1st place trophy this experience will enrich you in many ways... I believe you said this is your second competition, so you're an old pro practically! :wink:

Considering what I've learned about you through these forums, I'm quite positive that you are well prepared and have undoubtedly put in the practice time. Although, I do understand that there's always the feeling that one could/should have practiced more!

Now don't you feel SOOOOO much better after such an inspiring pep-talk?? :shock:

Anyway, all the PS members including myself will certainly be rooting for you!

Matt

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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 1:31 pm 
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I'm sure you'll be fine; your submissions always sound well-prepared and clean. Best of luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 2:50 am 
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Thanks, Matthew and Andrew! :D

One more day to go. I'm very nervous and pretty much scared to death (what was I thinking when I signed up for this... :roll: ). Well anyway, I know I'll survive, but it's just knowing what happens to my fingers when I get nervous. They shake so badly that they go all over the place and I have a hard time trying to control them , like make them land on the right notes. That's the part I hate! I love to play piano and I like to have others listen to the music I like to play, except I'm terrible in public. I know the music well, but I can't control my shaky fingers. I also have another little problem: I bought some new shoes to go with my new dress but the shoes fall off when I walk. I'm a little worried that one of them may fly off my foot when I'm walking to the piano and possible hit a camera or something. Actually, that would be a good thing - maybe I can knock out all the power . Then I can play in the dark! :D Hmm.... :idea: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 10:58 am 
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pianolady wrote:
One more day to go. I'm very nervous and pretty much scared to death (what was I thinking when I signed up for this... :roll: ). Well anyway, I know I'll survive, but it's just knowing what happens to my fingers when I get nervous. They shake so badly that they go all over the place and I have a hard time trying to control them , like make them land on the right notes. That's the part I hate! I love to play piano and I like to have others listen to the music I like to play, except I'm terrible in public. I know the music well, but I can't control my shaky fingers. I also have another little problem: I bought some new shoes to go with my new dress but the shoes fall off when I walk. I'm a little worried that one of them may fly off my foot when I'm walking to the piano and possible hit a camera or something.


I don't know how much public performance you have done, but it can be a good idea to do mock concerts in front of friends. I also sometimes rehearse for a public concert by going to the piano, running through the programme and treating it as a performance - i.e. imagine that it is recital day, imagine that there is an audience there, dress as I would on the concert platform, and run through my pieces in exactly the planned order, no stopping for anything. Re the shoes: get an appropriately coloured and camouflaged tape to hold them in place? But do check that this doesn't affect your pedalling! (Tbh, if they aren't a great fit, I would check pedalling wearing them anyway.)


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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 5:33 pm 
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andrew wrote:

I don't know how much public performance you have done, but it can be a good idea to do mock concerts in front of friends. I also sometimes rehearse for a public concert by going to the piano, running through the programme and treating it as a performance - i.e. imagine that it is recital day, imagine that there is an audience there, dress as I would on the concert platform, and run through my pieces in exactly the planned order, no stopping for anything. Re the shoes: get an appropriately coloured and camouflaged tape to hold them in place? But do check that this doesn't affect your pedalling! (Tbh, if they aren't a great fit, I would check pedalling wearing them anyway.)

I have not played in public nearly enough in order to gain confidence. That's my main problem. But I have been playing my piece in front of my family all this past week - almost every night. Just made them all sit on the couch and watch me play. That made me feel different when playing, so hopefully it helps a little. And my new shoes fit fine, except when I walk. They have a pretty high heel and I have been practicing while wearing them (pedaling). Also yesterday I had them on the whole time in order to break them in. According to my sons I looked very silly because I was walking around in high heels all day while wearing gym/workout shorts..... :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 8:37 pm 
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Just accept that things will go wrong. Don't worry about it at all, just give it your best shot and when something happens keep the stony face and pretend it was written just like that. Good luck !

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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 3:27 am 
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techneut wrote:
Just accept that things will go wrong. Don't worry about it at all, just give it your best shot and when something happens keep the stony face and pretend it was written just like that. Good luck !

No chance of me keeping a stony face - I seem to laugh at the most inappropriate times. But thank you! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 9:50 am 
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I wish you the best of luck!

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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 9:54 am 
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pianolady wrote:
No chance of me keeping a stony face - I seem to laugh at the most inappropriate times. But thank you! :)

Probably best not to do that.
The stony face was a tip from my former teacher. Whatever goes wrong, do not show any surprise or emotion, do not stop or correct, act as if nothing happened.

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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 10:16 pm 
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I watched most of the first half. I thought you did very well; it would have been easy to be intimidated by the performance immediately prior to yours. Brava!


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 Post subject: Re: Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2012
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 11:07 pm 
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Yes indeed. Well played, Monica! And an impressive stony face while playing, leaving the big smile until the end.
Your fingers didn't shake and your shoes stayed on. What more can you ask for?

After the first two competitors were sadly let down by nervousness-induced memory lapses, you had the good sense to use a score and a turner, even though you seemed to be playing it all from memory anyway. If nothing else, it's one less thing to worry about going wrong.

Interesting to see some Mompou played, even if not by you. You'll have some up your sleeve for the next round.


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