October 1: Performed in a recital for the first time in TWO Years!
One of the pleasures of being a musician is public performance. You practice hard and then play in front of people for all to enjoy–most of the time I think that I probably derive the greatest pleasure from the experience. Hopefully, a few from the audience enjoyed it and even has a memory of it a few days afterward.
This performance was part of a studio recital organized by my wife and I for our students and us. We like to do things differently. In addition to one or two solo pieces there are also ensembles that the students play in as well as us teachers joining in on. It is a completely different experience to teach, help the student prepare, practice the music together in a group, and then perform together.
Our thought is to give the students a unique performing experience. That is, playing together with seasoned musicians. We have played hundreds or thousands of times in public so we might know a thing or two about making the performance go a bit better.
However, it is also very beneficial for us teachers. By performing alongside the students we can learn valuable insights into the way a student handles the various challenges of playing in public. It is also quite interesting to be the “director” or “conductor” of the music from a seated position. Mitigating mistakes and botched entries is tough but can often be smoothed over with the aid and direction from an experienced performer at the “helm”.
It is also very satisfying when we give a good performance especially after months of hard work. Good job to all my students and all my wife’s students and everyone else involved, including my Dad. It was great fun!
In all, I played four solos. Nocturne in D minor by Goltermann, To a Wild Rose by McDowell, Sonata in A-first movement by Franck, and Song Without Words by Mendelssohn. It was probably a bit selfish to include me so much, but it was hard to resist after so long. That is, after two years of no playing!
Although I think the music side of it went well, I was rather surprised by the recordings. Upon review I noticed one frustrating tendency of my playing. My center of pitch seems to have gone awry. While I normally played notes correctly, or least found the notes eventually, there were many, many notes that were wobbly. Trying to find where the center of pitch lay was not like it used to be.
I know it might be a little hard on myself, since, afterall, I hardly perform anymore. And, let’s face it, recording Youtube videos in a small, home office space is not a substitute for public performance. While it is one outlet, playing in front of people that can talk to you afterward is a wholly unique experience.
Watch a bit here:
Playing in Public Again, Finally. Some Recital Excerpts