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SMILE?
Can you do it while playing?
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (6 votes) 
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ELCBK
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April 22, 2022 - 7:15 pm
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https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/memoryalpha/images/2/2e/Eyebrow.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20150814183612&path-prefix=en

Does our facial expression really matter much - while we play violin, viola or cello? 

I really believe in the old expressions, "the eyes are the window to the soul" and "the face is like an open book".  To me, music is a form of emotional communication - so, the intricate details of facial expression can be an important means of adding to that (yes, I used to practice Spock's raised eyebrow when I was a kid). 😁  

I 💖 seeing different emotions displayed on a musician's face, especially some signs of personal satisfaction. 

Maybe something else to this... I relate to what a fabulous Interior Decorator once pointed out to me, "you can tell what kind of a personality someone has by the inside of their home"

You may think it's a far-fetched analogy, but I don't want my blank stare, or grimace, to imply I don't feel anything great while I'm playing my music!

 

Can you smile while you are playing? 

...not a ridiculous grin (I've seen some really forced ones on YouTube), but a natural smile.

Does it come naturally? 

Did you have to practice?

I'm having a heck of a time, because my concentration gets in the way. 

If I take a moment to think, "I should smile" or, "wow, doing good, I've got it right" - I always mess up what I'm playing! 😖 

In the past, I've tried to practice at least having a pleasant expression - even if I'm not smiling, but inevitably, concentration foils my efforts. 😞  I think it's important enough that, like with everything else, I shouldn't quit trying - maybe practice more.

 

 

🤔... maybe why bird's & pig's eyes bug me, they're expressionless - sorry, I digress. 🙄

- Emily

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ABitRusty
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April 22, 2022 - 10:29 pm
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Ive been told to smile before when playing by someone. 

 

...if all the sudden i have to worry about presenting some kind of authentic smile or emotion im not feeling ..it becomes fake.   and it also distracts from my playing.  like i said..  Ive been told to smile when playing before. and tried..but honestly i dont normally walk around smiling when doing everyday things unless theres some kind of other human interaction going on in person..  and it doeant look right when forced on video...  Ive noticed this seems a thing for fiddlers to worry over for some reason.   what about flute or trumpet players?  

if this is something you are worrying over for yourself..dont.   i think its nice just seeing you join in and play.  this maybe more of a thing for stage performers or buskers to think about and practice...but in that case there are actual people present.  maybe someone making income on youtube or delivering patreon content?  but our party vids are different in my eyes.

btw..youve always had warm videos.

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ELCBK
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April 23, 2022 - 12:31 am
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@ABitRusty -

Good points, but you must not remember my last couple videos. 

https://i.pinimg.com/736x/9e/eb/8a/9eeb8ac74e50d5236e9436a322c5ab95.jpg

 

...looked like I was about ready to leap out from under the porch & bite someone! 😡

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ABitRusty
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April 23, 2022 - 12:55 am
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ELCBK said
 

Good points, but you must not remember my last couple videos. 

https://i.pinimg.com/736x/9e/eb/8a/9eeb8ac74e50d5236e9436a322c5ab95.jpg

 

...looked like I was about ready to leap out from under the porch & bite someone! 😡

  

hmmm...let me think.  its been a while since youve joined a party.. so having trouble recalling that...

nope dont remember that..  was it this year?

🤔😄

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JohnG
Greater Chicagoland
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April 23, 2022 - 1:02 am
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...let me think.  its been a while since youve joined a party.. so having trouble recalling that...

nope dont remember that..  was it this year?

🤔😄

  

Hah, ha ha! That's what's called a zinger!!!!

The old curmudgeon!

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ELCBK
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April 23, 2022 - 1:29 am
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...yeah, yeah, yeah. 

When I saw this joke ↓ the other day - thought "omg, my name's written all over it".

 

"What's the difference between a dog and a viola? 

 

🤔...wonder if Edgar's got fleas.

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RDP
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April 24, 2022 - 1:53 pm
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When I smile people run away as fast as they can.  So... no.

 

I was watching a soloist perform Vivaldi's 4 seasons yesterday.  A common thread in that video and others I've watched seem to be grimacing, frowning, lip tension, and so on while playing.  Not too many smiles.

 

(I've also put Vivaldi's Spring mvmt 1 into my recital list.  It's waaaay too early for me to learn it, Suzuki book 4 level, but it's on the list!)

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Doc-Ivory
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April 24, 2022 - 3:01 pm
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I'm afraid I'm not at the smiling stage of playing yet. Perhaps grimace is more my present facial feature as I moss notes with abandon.

The only soloist who Ive seen genuinely smile during a performance is Gil Shaham.
I'm sure there are others but they seem SO into the music that smiling would get in the way.

-Jim

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wtw
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April 25, 2022 - 4:41 am
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I don't smile and frankly I don't see the point of trying. Isn't music supposed to be listened to, foremost ? in any case I'm not performing for anyone, so there's really no need to smile at myself. It would mess up with my playing too, and I sure don't need that :--)

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Fiddlerman
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April 26, 2022 - 3:53 pm
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One can learn to smile but it's absolutely not necessary. It's all about stage presence. Some people actually look better not smiling. LOL

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Katie M
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April 26, 2022 - 5:32 pm
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I think I probably do everything but smile !

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ELCBK
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April 27, 2022 - 1:56 pm
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Okay, sorry folks, this is too important to not announce... 

I need to mark this day in history and I'd like to share it - an extremely small, fleeting, moment of success. 😁

Today is pretty special for me and I'm not sure if starting this thread had anything to do with it.  I actually found myself quite satisfied during practice - sounds trite, but thought 🤔... this IS going really well. 

Felt something begin to grow over my face! 

...think it might've been a SMILE. 😳 

I was completely aware it was happening, but it felt so alien -
like it was really someone else's face! 

I did NOT mess up playing while this was happening!  🤗

 

BUT, that expression crumbled into tiny pieces, then POOF! 

...it disappeared when I realized I should've been recording. 😔

 

Probably jinxed everything, now. 🙄

One month shy of THREE YEARS - all for ONE SMILE!  

 

...at least I now know it's possible! 

HOPE IT CAN BE FOR YOU, TOO! 

 

- Emily

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