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So I just got back from giving my first, small performance during a friend's musician share event. Now that I've got some wine and brandy in my blood, I thought I should share the experience with my fellow learning fiddlers!
For the event, I decided to present an original composition, about two minutes long, that I wrote back in December. At night when I'm no longer really practicing, I often randomly fiddle; every now and again, I come across a combination that I really like, and later write it down. I now have a handful of excerpts of melodies, but only this one that I consider to be in a rough state of completion.
The melody is a relatively simple medieval-ish, gypsy-ish piece that makes heavy use of vibrato, intermediate-level bowing, pizzicato and simple double stops, but sticks to first position.
The audience was about ten people, mostly strangers, all hobbyist musicians. We all shared one original piece.
My turn came up toward the end. I never get a chance to play in front of others, so I was super nervous and jittery. This definitely affected my performance. I played the piece faster than I usually would and at a quality that I know does not equate to when I practice alone. I also made one mistake, which an embarrassed and slightly inebriated me clumsily announced.
That being said, getting over nervousness is a necessary step in learning, and the only way to do it is to just throw yourself out there! So as a first performance, it actually went...
Extremely well. The audience loved it, said they would never have known the mistake had I not announced it, nor would they have guessed that I was a beginner at the instrument. A real violinist told me that for only a year and a half, my ability was amazing, that my bowing was exemplary and that he noticed no bad habits. I just needed to relax. Best of all, the composition's themes were successfully expressed. People described picturing a procession of castles, knights and gypsies.
So here's to the first of many more performances!
Good job Johannes and well done . First one over and it's gets easier from here. Or so I am told!!!
I did my first this time last year after lessons for 6 months. Am about to do my 2nd I June a year later. I'm so looking forward to making music with other musicians. When is your next performance? I wish I hadnt waited a whole year between the two, can you play in public again soon?
I am amazed at how old people of my age are.....
Ha ha, yeah, I had two or so glasses of wine in me at the time, but it usually takes a bit more than that for me to feel any different.
Thanks for the words of encouragement! Yes, I hope describing my first performance would help motivate others for when their turn comes up!
Terry, I bet you'll be surprised to realize how much you've progressed in the past year once you give that second performance. One of the people in the audience was a friend who last heard me play about a year ago, and she was indeed most impressed.
Thanks for the tips FM. I definitely did begin leaning forward midway through in an attempt to feel less nervous; that must be something instinctive.
Ah, perhaps one of these months, after some refinement, I'll make a recording of the melody to show!
Congratulation's on your first public appearance, Johannes. Although I think most of us fail to realize that when we produce a "YouTube" video and post it here in the forum that (no matter how good or bad it may be) we make ourselve's available for public viewing by the million's of viewer's world wide who may watch us, even though we can post it as private, it can still be stumbled upon and viewed.
Your audience was right when they said they wouldn't have known your mistake had you not mentioned it. If it's your own composition and you do happen to make a mistake, no one will be the wiser because they've never heard the piece before and have nothing to compare it to. So the old saying, "Silence is Golden" applie's here.
Great job and a great story.
Haha! That's great, Johannes! Congratulations!
Not long ago i performed too (as usual, twice a year). That was not so awesome as yours, but kinda good practice: i was running from the work, got late on the concert, violin was tuned right on stage, LOL, and at last i played even without any basic warm-up