Printer-friendly version weekend vote: Do you make funny faces when you play?

The Weekend Vote

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Published: October 18, 2014 at 1:12 AM [UTC]

Do you make funny faces when you play? This was a question raised by Graham Emberton's blog about mirrors this week, and I thought it would make a fun weekend vote.

I certainly used to make faces, when I was a child. In fact, after those early concerts my family often had more to say about my grimaces and facial contortions than about anything else! These were of the inadvertent kind, expressions that come from concentrating very hard. These days, I probably make some funny faces, but I think they tend to be more about the music than about my physical struggles with the violin. I hope, at least!

Many people are quite poker-faced and stoic when they play. Remember the cellist, Janos Starker? Gorgeous music came from his cello, with emotional content running the full range, but his face remained fairly unchanged as he played.

How about you?

Posted on October 18, 2014 at 11:45 AM
I tend to take the Heifetz-Milstein-Kogan poker face approach, though I still play with lots of emotion!
Posted on October 18, 2014 at 1:57 PM
I am told that I do make funny faces when I play. I am not aware of it when it happens because I am completely focused on the music and my tone and where I am "going" melodically. I find that If I think about what my face is doing it interrupts my train of thought and takes me off of my game significantly. Especially in improvisational situations. I wonder if practicing playing with a "poker face" would be effective or just a unnecessarily take valuable practice time away from other more important areas or disciplines.
From Trevor Jennings
Posted on October 18, 2014 at 7:26 PM
I don't know about "funny"; nobody laughs.
From Kit Jennings
Posted on October 20, 2014 at 8:43 PM
I make faces almost as if i'm speaking. My lips move but it's not on purpose. I don't know how to get rid of that so i started clamping my lips between my teeth. That's not good either. After rehearsals, my mouth is sore.

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