analytical Q Le Bon Journal Journal entries Search Contact
Journal Entries

Bon Journal

Preparing for a concert

She walks quickly to the piano shop in the village where she lives. No longer the usual smiling self, she asks the owner if he can help her.

"Please, I need a good piano to practise on. My neighbours don't want me to play on a Sunday. But the concert is less than a week away."

The owner, a pianist himself, understands the importance of a good instrument. He tells her to call him each day that she needs a piano, and then he lets her use his shop on the day when everything is closed. For three hours she plays on the Schimmel upright at the front of the shop.

The next day, she asks if she can practise again. He lets her use the studio in the basement of his house.

On his Bechstein upright, she practises for three and a half hours nonstop, until his first student shows up. Her forearms become taut and sore. The Bechstein allows her to hear every single note clearly, so unlike the brown unnamed upright she has at home.

With only a few days to go, she knows she has to keep practising until she is more than 100% confident that she will be able to play in an unfamiliar surrounding.

Preparing for a concert is about risk management. How will she hedge against the uncertainty of how she feels on that day? She can't allow her hands to get cold if the temperature in the room is too cold. Cold hands ruin a performance. She can't allow the brightness of the concert hall to affect her performance. She must be in total control.

She must practise every page turn. She must be sure of every single note, every tempo change, and every detail agreed with her duo partner.

She has played enough times to know what can go wrong: missing a page turn, not being able to hear the other instrument, sudden confusion of the notes, skipping notes, sudden drop in self-confidence, and annoying audiences.

The only way she will feel confident about the concert is to practise as much as possible and to synchronise her playing with her partner's. This is not a time for distractions, however tempting they might be. Nor is it a time to play anything else, other than the piano.

30 March 2004 Tuesday

Related Bon Journal entries:
Preparing for next concert
Event list
Like this entry?
Your comments:
Your e-mail address:
Tell your friends about this Bon Journal entry:
Your name:
Your e-mail address:
Your friend(s):
 (please separate additional addresses with commas)
Your message:

Anne Ku at Ilp in May 2001
Anne Ku

writes about her travels, conversations, thoughts, events, music, and anything else that is interesting enough to fill a web page.
Support the Bon Journal by keeping alive and free. Find out about Sponsorship.