I’m not a “winner” of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra. Wifey keeps on telling me to get over it.
But I’ve watched my video a few more times, and those of the “winners”. And I’ve come to the conclusion – I’m just a boring player to watch.
And I need to change this.
I’m sure there are a multitude of opinions, but music is primarily a form of communication – a performing art. Playing the notes, articulation, phrasing.. that’s all one side of the coin. But on the other side, is the visual aspect.
On an audio CD, you don’t get this – and so I know I’ve been sometimes surprised to go and watch an artist in person and be disappointed. Or sometimes the reverse – sometimes seeing the performance, the emotion and movement in an artist, leaves such an impression that just listening to their audio recording afterwards is quite a different experience.
I think I need to work on the visual, performing aspect of my playing. So it “looks” like I’m playing what I’m feeling. For an audience member, this will then reinforce their aural sense with the visual sense – therefore heightening their overall musical experience. Surely?
There’s some sort of weird parent bias bubble that gets created when you watch your child perform. The joy and pride mixed together with nerves is a strange cocktail of emotions. But that’s what I felt when Miss 10 played Bach’s Minuet 3 this week.
Driving to the venue, I was thinking that I was more nervous than her. But when I sat next to her and held her hand, no – her hand was already clammy. I whispered to her, “Squeeze my hand as hard as you can!” which she did, and grinned at me. I think some of the nerves disappeared.
And then it was her time – we quickly checked her string tuning, she walked to the little stage, announced her name and piece, and then played with a great tone and intonation. No wobbly nerves or shaking. She remembered her extensions and shifts into 2nd position. A small slip up at the second repeat but she recovered fine.
And then it was all over.
I was proud of her – for getting up and playing very well, but more for just having a go even though it was a new experience and she was nervous.
Now she can concentrate on working towards her AMEB Grade 3 exam!
We entered our Miss 10 into a performing arts festival – her first one playing on the cello!
She’s not on until next week. The piece is pretty under control – she’s been playing it for a while.
But what we have been rehearsing on in the last few days is performance. Walking onto stage, bowing, making sure she’s seated comfortably, thinking about the right tempo, making eye contact with the accompanist to make sure they’re ready, lead the beginning of the piece. Then play the piece as she does. Then once it’s over, holding the bow for a second before getting up and bowing and smiling.
I think we’ve got it across to her that performing is not just about playing the notes. It literally is “performing”!