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Mendy Smith

Competition Scores

January 15, 2008 at 7:47 AM

DISCLAIMER: I am not permitted to share the actual scores and comments with anyone other than my teacher. I can only generalize what was noted and what I have blogged about before. The results were in-line with my own self-assessment.

Lesson learned #1 was on my score card (tuning to the piano in the room). I blew it and know it. I'll NEVER make that mistake again! As a result, my intonation suffered and it showed. I realized my error when my opening A rang with my open A but was out of tune to the piano noticeably. I should have known that an unheated room (it was around 55 degrees) and having my viola in it for 30 minutes before I started playing would have made everything sharp. I'll stop beating myself up over that one for now. A lesson WELL learned!

Vibrato!!!! Like I've posted before, Bruch DEMANDS a lot of vibrato, which is still a developing skill for me. My dynamics need more work as well as bowing skills (esp. at the tip). Funny how my "bow tip" playing used to be strong and now it has weakened since I've focused playing at the frog.

On the up-side, the double stops were good. Those few measures are what I actually worried about the most! I went from horrible and totally out of tune to pretty good and slightly out of tune in two weeks. Also, I used to have a problem playing timidly and not projecting at all. That has now turned into the opposite problem by projecting too much. And based on my results, I think I've learned to apply the fundamentals of expression.

There weren't real any surprises for me on the results. I'm glad to know that my own assessment matches those of the judges. It has helped reinforce what I need to work on with my teacher. I expect that my vibrato study will get more attention now.

From E. Smith
Posted on January 15, 2008 at 1:42 PM
Congratulations on those double-stops! Did you mean that you tuned to the piano in the warm-up room, instead of re-tuning in the audition room? That makes sense... a procedural error that reflects on your experience as a performer, but not your actual performance.
From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on January 15, 2008 at 2:20 PM
It's also nice that some stuff, like the tuning, is completely and easily fixable.
From Ihnsouk Guim
Posted on January 15, 2008 at 11:03 PM
Not if the piano is tuned too high. If you tune your violin high to the piano and can hear it's too high, you would instictively correct your pitch playing too low against the piano.
From E. Smith
Posted on January 16, 2008 at 2:48 AM
If you have absolute pitch. But otherwise, you could adjust.
From Ihnsouk Guim
Posted on January 16, 2008 at 3:23 AM
What happens in a competition if the piano is tuned too high and you have absolute pitch? Hopefully, it doesn't happen. It probably doesn't. My daughter had to play with a piano tuned too high once. She has absolute pitch and kept playing too low for the piano. Rather frustrating experience.
From Mendy Smith
Posted on January 16, 2008 at 3:38 AM
E. Smith - even worse, I tuned to the piano in my 70 degree house, down a mile down the road, checked my tuning just 5 or so after getting there, then sat in a 55 degree room for 30 minutes then played. EWWWWW!!!!!

It was noticably sharp (even to my ears!) and I'm not good enough to compensate for it...

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