Re: Re: Competition/Big Performance Preparation

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I agree completely that the most important aspect of preparing for any important performance is performing the repertoire beforehand. At some point I will write a post or two about substitutes for an actual performance, just like the list you came up with. Personally, I have found that some of those do absolutely nothing for me, while others work in some specific instances only. I also have several techniques beyond yours that work well for me – it’s all individual preference and exploration.

I’m essentially writing about the steps as one might come to them, so for instance I’ll discuss the creation of the audition CD in depth when its almost time to actually time to start thinking seriously about how it will be made. Likewise, I’ll spend most of the spring discussing performance practice, as you went over, since that’s when most people will be concentrating on that aspect. This is all with the assumption that a reader would be competing/performing this coming summer, although the advice certainly isn’t restricted to any particular season or month!

With regards to why someone might choose to compete, it sounds like you might not have read the short article that I published on my blog. You can find a link for it under the right hand side of the banner image. Competing is certainly not for everyone, but many of the people that frequent competitions do so because it is an environment in which they thrive, and you can’t contest that competitions would be good in those instances, can you?

With regards to artistry, I agree with you. Artistry, though it is of the utmost importance, is not the only aspect of playing. Much of my music education has focused on developing my musicality, and I’ve very grateful for this, but I also think that I’m somewhat lacking in technical solidity and control, aspects that competition rewards. Competition should be by no means the focal point of one’s musical education, but if it’s going to help push the student, and he enjoys it, then he should consider doing them. If it will be destructive, then don’t. It’s a simple, personal choice, and my blog tries to give a picture of what competing is like in order to aid the decision making process for those that haven’t competed.

The advice I give should be useful to any performer, however, and as we are all musicians, the advice should prove universal. Any professional musician will be faced with auditions at some point in his career as well, and so the advice is equally applicable there.