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I just have to post this.

When you're alone in your room playing a piece just for fun (hopefully not when you're practicing), do you ever imagine being a concert pianist and that your piece (maybe super-easy), it's something hard and virtuosistic? And then when you're done, you imagine the copious audience clapping out loud?
LOL

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No, I never imagine that. I play piano for my own enjoyment, not for the enjoyment of my imaginary friends. Besides, they prefer string quartets anyway. wink

Joking aside, I think those sort of visualizations might be useful for some people as a technique to combat stage fright. Like if you have a recital coming up, you might practice imagining the success of your performance in such a fashion.


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I just play as if I was still working. In a restaurant where hopefully nobody pays any attention. But they might if my mistakes were catastrophic. . .Where the lights are low and there are one or two comely ladies on view when one gets bored. . .

Gotta be better than in the Crem where I also worked. .


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These little fantasies are harmless and fun. I don't play for anyone but myself, it's my recreation and now my main pursuit in retirement, and I make too many mistakes if I have someone in the vicinity as I play, not having the confidence yet for that. But I do remember in the time I had just an electronic keyboard to practise on, early last year, I'd been practising a little minuet by Rameau. Just to see what it would be like, I changed the keyboard 'voice' from piano to pipe organ. What a difference! It changed from being a genteel little dance, to something majestic and stately, and I imagined for a few delicious moments that I was, in reality, an unknown but famous and accomplished organist, who had wandered in to an empty cathedral, found the organ, and had begun to play, dispelling the cavernous and gloomy silence with a surge of multi-coloured and multi-dimensional musical magnificence.

Sheer fantasy. I'd be lying if I said part of me hadn't wished for it to be true.

Fantasy?

Earlier this year, whilst on a trip with some old close friends on the west coast of Scotland, a trip we make twice a year, we came upon an old church on the shores of a wide loch, which had become dilapidated, but was being gradually renovated. We went inside, and it was empty, but still a functioning church, as there were notices of services and the like. I spotted a pipe organ at the far end, and went to look, but it was out of action, and the keyboard, on lifting the cover, full of cobwebs and dead insects.

However, there was also another keyboard, and this was was electronic, a Yamaha, and the model down from my own. I switched it on, and it was working, and connected to the church loudspeaker system!

Impossible to leave that place with the regret that I hadn't tried it. So I sat down on the bench, turned the voice to pipe organ, and I did it. I played the same Rameau minuet, heard it echo around that empty church and it was, for me, simply electrifying. I loved it.

We went back just a couple of months ago, on the second visit north for the year, and the renovation is virtually complete. The defunct pipe organ is gone and replaced by something digital. I didn't seek to play again, as I'd had my moment. Fantasies, by their nature, are so often out of reach and unrealisable. I don't think anything like that will ever happen to me again, but I'm glad I took the moment. I'll always remember it.


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I only imagine that after the check clears.


"Imagine it in all its primatic colorings, its counterpart in our souls - our souls that are great pianos whose strings, of honey and of steel, the divisions of the rainbow set twanging, loosing on the air great novels of adventure!" - William Carlos Williams
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Interesting anecdote, Purkoy.

About the "playing for ourselves" (fizikisto), well, it goes without saying. If it weren't like that, I would already have quit piano. But as people making music, we also enjoy playing for others, so when a fantasy / dream take this and amplify it, you have this funny experiences.

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A lovely story, Purkoy. I am sure this will always be a nice memory.

Nice of you to share. smile


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great stories, but my imaginary audience are world champion hecklers!


Surprisingly easy, barely an inconvenience.

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I have imagined how it would be to play the way real pianists do, without having to worry about simple things like what my fingers are doing or remembering the notes and just concentrate on interpreting the music, having all the tools to do that. The audience has no part in this, though. I've never felt the need to express myself to people with music. Maybe because I have never had any trouble expressing myself directly with words or maybe I just don't have much to express. When I sing people sometimes tell me it's very moving, but that's just a side effect of me enjoying the music, I am not trying to connect with them...So I think I can genuinely say I only want to play for myself.

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Originally Posted by outo
I have imagined how it would be to play the way real pianists do, without having to worry about simple things like what my fingers are doing


I have this too, especially after I've seen someone perform in a way that is seemingly effortless.

But thinking of that, I also wonder how concert pianists cope, if they ever have to, with something more mundane than knowing where the fingers should be. And I'm thinking of the times when I'm practising, or playing, and I become aware of an itch in my forehead, or behind my ear. And I try to ignore it, and the more I ignore it, the more the itch begins to shout scratch me! scratch me! -- until my very sanity is in jeopardy unless my hand slaps straight on to the itchy spot and scratches so hard for relief that there's a risk of blood.

It must happen to concert pianists, but it requires super-human effort to resist!

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Originally Posted by Purkoy

But thinking of that, I also wonder how concert pianists cope, if they ever have to, with something more mundane than knowing where the fingers should be. And I'm thinking of the times when I'm practising, or playing, and I become aware of an itch in my forehead, or behind my ear. And I try to ignore it, and the more I ignore it, the more the itch begins to shout scratch me! scratch me! -- until my very sanity is in jeopardy unless my hand slaps straight on to the itchy spot and scratches so hard for relief that there's a risk of blood.


I don't seem to get itches while playing (which is strange because I normally do). For me it's usually a hair or something similar on the keyboard that start bugging me until it becomes intolerable...

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Originally Posted by outo
Originally Posted by Purkoy

But thinking of that, I also wonder how concert pianists cope, if they ever have to, with something more mundane than knowing where the fingers should be. And I'm thinking of the times when I'm practising, or playing, and I become aware of an itch in my forehead, or behind my ear. And I try to ignore it, and the more I ignore it, the more the itch begins to shout scratch me! scratch me! -- until my very sanity is in jeopardy unless my hand slaps straight on to the itchy spot and scratches so hard for relief that there's a risk of blood.


I don't seem to get itches while playing (which is strange because I normally do). For me it's usually a hair or something similar on the keyboard that start bugging me until it becomes intolerable...


hairs and spots on the keyboard bug me to death. My teacher has a mark on one of her keys and every week I attempt fruitlessly to erase it.


Surprisingly easy, barely an inconvenience.

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Originally Posted by earlofmar

hairs and spots on the keyboard bug me to death. My teacher has a mark on one of her keys and every week I attempt fruitlessly to erase it.


haha. I can empathize with that. that sort of thing bugs me too. speaking of bugs, that's the absolute worst for me, when a bug gets int the room, like a fly or a gnat. I don't have an insect phobia or anything, but I just get this image that it's going fly into my face or something and it weirds me out. smile


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Originally Posted by fizikisto
Originally Posted by earlofmar

hairs and spots on the keyboard bug me to death. My teacher has a mark on one of her keys and every week I attempt fruitlessly to erase it.


haha. I can empathize with that. that sort of thing bugs me too. speaking of bugs, that's the absolute worst for me, when a bug gets int the room, like a fly or a gnat. I don't have an insect phobia or anything, but I just get this image that it's going fly into my face or something and it weirds me out. smile


I guess it's good we only have insects for a few months of the year...One of the few benefits of the long cold winter...

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You only have to worry if you start dressing like Liberace.
Even if it's only for yourself. smile

Hummm... a new term... "Closet Pianist"


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That's funny, Purkoy.


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Originally Posted by Purkoy
(itch thing)

They (professional pianists) just play until one of the hand is free for a second and they use that hand to solve any problem, being a itch, something with the clothes, something with the keyboard, tension on some muscles on the hand (very common to see them making some rotation with a rising hand to bring it back to relaxation).
Also, they have so much control and know the piece so well that they don't loose focus and keep playing like nothing happened even when there is some big distraction around:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkoVS-nTeBQ&t=19m49s
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeHA6cnAoRs&t=10m52s

Originally Posted by rnaple
You only have to worry if you start dressing like Liberace.
Even if it's only for yourself. smile

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Originally Posted by fizikisto
I play piano for my own enjoyment, not for the enjoyment of my imaginary friends. Besides, they prefer string quartets anyway. wink
You need to get some better imaginary friends then. whistle


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I picture myself playing a song before the actual playing. While I'm listening to it, I visualise the movements in my head, it helps later. I can't do it with he piano though, not enough knowledge of the instrument, yet

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Ever since high school I've had fantasies of performing in front of a large audience. Even to this day, when I hear Meat Loaf's "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" I am taken back to high school and the girl I had a crush on.

But when I play, I tend to become one with the music and play for my soul. Although I do tend to dream of playing in a cocktail lounge sometimes.


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