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Books/Courses on performance anxiety, practising performing etc...


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#1 R-W

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 11:23

Hi, I'd like to put some time into learning how to perform and how to practice performing etc.

 

I read/implemented Don Greene's book Performance Success as a 15 year old but it doesn't seem to be doing the trick as an adult for some reason. 

 

Does anyone have any recommendations of books, online courses etc?

 

Thanks heaps!


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#2 Clovis

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 11:41

The best way is to perform to other people as much as you can – playing in festivals, church concerts, at a music club, masterclasses, courses, exams etc. There are quite a few books out there (The Inner Game of Music, The Perfect Wrong Note etc), but nothing is going to beat learning from experience.

 

I've not been on any courses for this, but there are some available, eg From Panic to Poise run at Jackdaws in Somerset and Benslow Music Trust in Hitchin.


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#3 corenfa

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 12:42

I volunteered at a hospital to play the piano in the lobby 2-3x a week for 4 months. The "brute force" approach worked for me; I still get nervous but I can play through it. For me, no amount of reading books beats actually doing it.
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#4 hennylemon

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 14:45

I volunteered at a hospital to play the piano in the lobby 2-3x a week for 4 months. The "brute force" approach worked for me; I still get nervous but I can play through it. For me, no amount of reading books beats actually doing it.

 

That's such a great idea! How advanced was your playing back then? Not that I'd be able to do that now but I think I would at least entertain the idea later on. 


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#5 corenfa

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 17:09

Post Grade 8, but that level of ability is certainly not required, you just have to be able to play stuff that is pleasant to listen to and keep going.
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#6 R-W

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 09:08

I've not been on any courses for this, but there are some available, eg From Panic to Poise run at Jackdaws in Somerset and Benslow Music Trust in Hitchin.

 

I didn't know anything about Benslow Music Trust! That's sort of near me, checked out their website- VERY interesting! Will definitely look into these. Thank you.

 

I volunteered at a hospital to play the piano in the lobby 2-3x a week for 4 months. The "brute force" approach worked for me; I still get nervous but I can play through it. For me, no amount of reading books beats actually doing it.

 

I've always had this idea about one day being good enough (and enough stamina) to warrant playing in elderly/residential homes, just voluntarily of course. Something to aim for, good to have a goal!


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#7 Saxwarbler

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 09:38

Many years ago I found The Inner Game of Music in an overstocks bookshop. I still have it and still dip into it from time to time. It explores the psychological aspects of music practice and performance and has lots of useful techniques and ideas. The one I always like to have in mind is the idea of 'permission to fail' - telling yourself that making mistakes, either in practice or performance, is not fatal and that even the world's top musicians make them and survive. Once mistakes become 'allowed' then we can relax and most likely eliminate (most of) them.


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#8 Saxwarbler

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 09:43

I've always had this idea about one day being good enough (and enough stamina) to warrant playing in elderly/residential homes, just voluntarily of course. Something to aim for, good to have a goal!

That's an aim of mine too, and possibly doing a little accompanying in primary schools etc. Right now I'm just gathering the confidence to start work towards grade 4, so I have a good way to go, but I am at last (thanks to a wonderful, gamble of a new teacher) beginning to feel like a pianist.
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#9 R-W

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 10:18

Many years ago I found The Inner Game of Music in an overstocks bookshop. I still have it and still dip into it from time to time. It explores the psychological aspects of music practice and performance and has lots of useful techniques and ideas. The one I always like to have in mind is the idea of 'permission to fail' - telling yourself that making mistakes, either in practice or performance, is not fatal and that even the world's top musicians make them and survive. Once mistakes become 'allowed' then we can relax and most likely eliminate (most of) them.

 

Ah I looked at that, too! I ended up buy 'Musician's Way' in the end though, Gerald Klickstein if I recall. It's a good book, but A LOT of info. Go in armed with a highlighter!


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#10 zwhe

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 11:02

You really don't need to be very advanced to play in a home. There are many good arrangements of popular music of many styles at around grade 3 level, so it is more a matter of quantity than quality. Most people don't notice mistakes, so you just need to be able to play confidently enough to enjoy the music (and not be put off by people joining in loudly and out of tune!). The last time I played in a home, their 'piano' was a cheap keyboard, so didn't have enough notes to play more complicated music anyway, and the pedal kept moving around. They loved it!


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#11 R-W

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 12:28

You really don't need to be very advanced to play in a home. There are many good arrangements of popular music of many styles at around grade 3 level, so it is more a matter of quantity than quality. Most people don't notice mistakes, so you just need to be able to play confidently enough to enjoy the music (and not be put off by people joining in loudly and out of tune!). The last time I played in a home, their 'piano' was a cheap keyboard, so didn't have enough notes to play more complicated music anyway, and the pedal kept moving around. They loved it!

 

Yes! I have read (can't recall where) some very funny (but incredibly endearing) stories about people's experiences of playing in homes. Warms your heart really. You're right about quantity - this is my downfall. Having a big enough repertoire that is 'always ready' .


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#12 corenfa

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 16:04

I just remembered, there's a book called Bounce by Matthew Syed that I found interesting with respect to performance anxiety. It's got nothing to do with music as he is a table tennis player
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#13 EllieD

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Posted 30 May 2019 - 07:19

 

 

 

That's such a great idea! How advanced was your playing back then? Not that I'd be able to do that now but I think I would at least entertain the idea later on. 

 

 

You could perhaps give it a go if you wanted! The more complex works of Liszt and Rachmaninov would hardly be the first choice in that setting anyway, and I have come across some beautiful Grade 1 or 2 music that would definitely work well. Even pre Grade 1!! There's some lovely pieces, it doesn't need to be hard.

 

I discovered last time I popped into my nearest hospital that they now have a really ancient looking piano in the foyer with a sign on it saying please have a go … no idea whether it's in tune or not but I will try and pluck up courage to have a go. But if I do, I will practice three or four really easy pieces for starters so there's less to go wrong. My Grade 7 efforts will have to wait until I am much, much braver!!!


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#14 R-W

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Posted 30 May 2019 - 08:51

 

I discovered last time I popped into my nearest hospital that they now have a really ancient looking piano in the foyer with a sign on it saying please have a go … no idea whether it's in tune or not but I will try and pluck up courage to have a go. 

 

 

Please do!! And tell us how it went!


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#15 corenfa

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Posted 30 May 2019 - 09:51

I developed a very thick skin very quickly. The worst mistake I made was that I started something in G major when it was really in G minor, and switched halfway. Hey ho, nothing happened.
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