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Feeling lost....

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Feeling lost....

Post by Keetz on Sun Jun 06, 2010 8:45 pm

I am a sophomore in high school, and I have only been playing piano since 8th grade. Since then, I was so enthusiastic about learning how to play, so I managed to reach level 7 in only a year. Now, my teacher wants me to test for level 9 or 10 in May 2011. It's a huge leap, but he says that I was capable of doing it. I really loved piano. I used to practice a lot until a recent recital in May. As a sophomore, I had to study for two AP tests, so I only had a week to really focus on preparing for the recital. After the AP tests were over, I practiced at least 6 hours each day for the recital. By the end of the week, I was able to play the piece fluently. I could play it when my parents were listening, when my camera was on, and when my aunt and uncle were in the house. I was not nervous at all. But by the day of the recital, I couldn't do it! I couldn't play the piece at all. My hands and feet were shaking way too much. Before it was my turn, I didn't tell myself, "I'm going to mess up. This is going to be really bad." I told myself, "I can't wait to play! I want to show everyone what I've practiced for." But there was just so much adrenaline in my body! When I sat on the chair, I was shaking incontrollably. I took one deep breath, and I played. Once I was at the piece's climax where the tempo started picking up, my hands just played random notes. It was horrible! That whole time, I tried to keep my cool as I continued to play my piece, but my hands just kept playing the wrong notes. And near the end of it, I just blanked out. I forgot everything. My practicing went to waste. After it was over, I went to my own piano at home and tried playing the piece again, and it was fluent! I was so mad at myself when I could play something at home, yet I can't when it's in another piano or environment.

Since that recital, I just had no motivation to play anymore. Ever since then, I kept telling myself, "What's the point of playing when you can't even perform for people?" I can't even stand listening to pieces on the piano anymore because it makes me feel horrible. I even try to avoid piano lessons, and the most I've been playing a week is about an hour or two.

I feel really lost. I want to continue practicing and playing, but I just can't get myself to do it anymore. Is there a way to get that motivation back?



For some reason, this is only an issue during piano performances. I can do presentations and speeches in front of people I don't know without having that same nervousness I feel during recitals.



Thank you in advance for any tips.

Keetz
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Re: Feeling lost....

Post by Alexander Lironi on Sun Jun 06, 2010 11:08 pm

To reveal art and conceal the artist is the purpose of art. If you get very nervous on stage, it is because you're trying to show yourself... and not the art.
If you want to play the piano to show the public that you are a pianist stops playing the piano now and better invest your time to study something useful.

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Re: Feeling lost....

Post by frank on Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:48 am

Alexander Lironi wrote:To reveal art and conceal the artist is the purpose of art. If you get very nervous on stage, it is because you're trying to show yourself... and not the art.
If you want to play the piano to show the public that you are a pianist stops playing the piano now and better invest your time to study something useful.

I think this is too much simplified. I'm a very beginner, but I feel nervous, too, when playing in front of my piano teacher, even if I want to reveal the art and not myself as a pianist Smile , but at least for me it is impossible to hide the fact that you as a pianist are playing and someone is watching and judging you. But you are right, it helps to concentrate on the piece, trying to ignore the audience.

Keetz, the worst thing that could happen is that you play some more wrong notes at your next recital, but this is not the end of life, try to take it a bit more easy and maybe do some breathing exercises to calm down before start playing. The more recitals you do, the more confident you'll get. At least the start of your performance was good and you can explain the teachers that you have learned the piece, but that you are nervous. If they are good teachers, they should understand it and maybe they have some more tips for you.

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Re: Feeling lost....

Post by Keetz on Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:27 am

@Alex: You're right... Next time I play for someone, I should show them the art, not me. I needed a kick in the butt. Thank you. Very Happy

@Frank: What breathing exercises do you do?

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Re: Feeling lost....

Post by frank on Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:35 am

Just breath slowly, deep and conscious multiple times and relax more with each expiration. There are other ideas, e.g. this:

http://stress.about.com/od/breathingexercises/ht/breathing_ex.htm

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