ampersand725 (ampersand725) wrote in tuesday_recital,

first time posting

Hello all-

I've been playing piano since I was 5 (I'm now 22). I recently graduated from a liberal arts college with a degree in Music. I'm now entering grad school for physics and am also planning on auditioning for private piano lessons from the faculty at the University.

I have many concerns though.

I've just come from 4 years of intense practice, preparation and performance and I fear I may be feeling burn out. I don't plan on ever making piano performance my career, but I love playing. I love pushing myself to learn more and marvelling at what I can do with a keyboard. But lately, I just feel pressured and stressed about practicing, just pushing myself. I've thought about stopping lessons for a bit, but I need someone to give me feedback and help me refine pieces I'm working on. '

Also, I get horrible stage fright. The worst case of nerves ever.

I've read "The Art of Practicing" by Madeline Bruser, but I was wondering if anyone has any tips or advice for either problem (burn out/ stage fright).
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hello! :-D

first, since you are going to get a new teacher, bring these concerns to him/her and tell him you want to work on these issues- and that while you are not a piano performance major, piano is one of the major metaphors for your life and that you want to make sure it stays there forever. your teacher should be able to help you through this- with practicing tips, books, maybe even meditation or yoga? sounds like you need to de-stress a bit in ALL aspects of life. tell your teacher you're thinking of taking some time out and ask for her input. this will give you a good start. good luck! :-D
The Art of Practicing is a great book; I would certainly take to heart as much of Brusers advice as you can. Burn out is always an issue; I would recommend to always try to be working on at least one piece that you absolutely adore.

As far as stage fright goes, the only way I know how do deal with it is by confronting it. I used to have huge problems with nerves; I would shake so much that I could barely play at all. I got over this gradually, by forcing myself to play something for studio class every week. Even now, I often ask my musician friends to listen to me, so that I get used to how it feels to play when I'm nervous. Eventually, you can harness this nervous energy and let it work in your favor...when I'm nervous I tend to take more risks and be more spontaneous...

Hope at least some of this is helpful...
they are good, from both of you. on the subject of yoga, by coincidence I just picked up the latest copy of "yoga international" from the magazine rack at Borders. On the cover they advertised an article about getting over stage fright, complete with several good breathing/focusing exercises.

I am anxious about these things because A) I still have to audition for her: spots are limited for non-major undergrads, not to mention grad students from another dept! B) I have not been able to practice for 3 weeks! they have summer music school here for high school and middle schoolers, and as a result, i've been evicted from the practice rooms. I feel rusty and antsy and nervous and everything that can be construed as .. bad.

but thanks again for the comments, i really appreciate it. Methinks it's time to give "The art of.." another thorough go through.

P.s.- as far as pieces I'm absolutely mad for, I'm just dying to complete i) the entire Suite Bergamasque by Debussy or ii) Sink my fingers into the Wanderer Fantasy by Schubert..
Congratulations and Good luck! Maybe it's too late (I'm a newbie) but here are my thought on your situation. For the time being, physics is your main bag. Grad school is intense so perhaps for the first semester you should consider not taking lessons at all and just play what you like when you can and see how things go. If you think you have time for some lessons, arrange to take privately from one of the professors. That way you can have a lesson every other week or once a month and not have the stress of preparing a jury every semester. There's no reason you HAVE to perform in public anymore so don't stress about it! Take a step back and see what YOU want to do now that the pressure is off. After you finish your degree(s) and have a job, you may find you have more time to practice again. Let us know what you decide to do!