Re: Competition/Big Performance Preparation

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There are many things worth commenting on there. The most important aspect of preparation, apart from practicing and memorizing, and developing a real interpretation would be practice performing a sufficient number of times. When that is not possible, there are a few additional ways I have devised to help make one’s performance indestructible:

Playing with many distractions going on

Playing in the dark

Playing with your eyes closed

Playing in odd clothing and shoes

Playing naked

Playing on videotape for scrutiny

Playing for sound recording

Playing pieces backwards

Developing a visual memory of each piece

As to why compete, I don’t know. It really distorts your life. Are the prizes worth it? Is losing worth it? It is good experience for performing and competing. It can also be destructive. My teacher always held it was best to simply perform recitals, preferably where one can get reviewed. Competitions do not seem to support artistry. Having something to say, something worth saying, in a compelling way is necessary to merit an audience’s interest. I think any jury would be relieved to hear greatly musical playing as opposed to yet another technical whirlwind. Get beyond the notes.