January 7, 2008 at 6:04 AMMy teacher made a very interesting suggestion regarding my practice routine, that was to practice as if it were a performance. With this competition coming up next week, playing a piece through without stopping, NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS, is paramount. In my practice sessions at home, if I make an error, I stop, work the measure several times, THEN continue. This simply cannot occur at the competition.
This problem came to light when my teacher "helped" me by getting ready to turn the page for me. This simple act of kindness threw me off so much, I ended up having to go back several measures to "get my groove back", and then turn the page for myself (with a glare at him from the corner of my eye to NOT help!).
After I completed my "performance", he brought up a very good point. If a simple page turner throws me off so completely, what is going to happen if any of the judges cough, talk to each other, or who knows what else? Will I be distracted to the point were I can no longer play through the piece? He suggested that during my practice time at home, I play as if I played in front of a large audience: people coughing, talking, getting up and walking around, babies crying, and any of a wide variety of other disturbances. THAT my dear is reality.
If a freight train runs through the concert hall, KEEP PLAYING!!!!
PS. I bought a baby grand piano today.
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