How to fight against monsters (competitions and auditions)– 10/11/11

October 11, 2011

My students often tell me that they want to win the competitions. Of course!! I get the questions from people how they can be successful on auditions for various occasions. Some people have a  great batting average, and some don’t.  OK.  Is there any answer to those questions? Or secret recipe for it? I don’t think so. First we have to be well-prepared to have a chance to be lucky.  If you don’t do exactly on the page (technical obstacles are taken care, expression in each hand, solid memory, well-studied the structure and background of the composers, etc–) you even don’t have a chance to be lucky. 

I have heard so many stories of great artists. My friend told me his story from the music camp where Hilary Hahn was also participating. In the morning there was a practice period so everyone did. He heard Hilary was practicing one passage over and over to polish. The morning session was done and all the kids went for the next activities. Then when he came back for the late afternoon practice period Hilary was still tackling the same passage in the same room. My Japanese piano friend told me her story with Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli. My friend was chosen to study with him at his home for a certain period. One day she took a tape recorder (an ancient device!) to the basement below his piano room, and secretly recorded his practice. Over 3 hours he practiced the same passage.  Obsession is often described as a bad habit, but not in the music world (so as sport and craftman—).  Again we have to be well-prepared to have a chance to be lucky.

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