Piano competitions - The good, the bad and the ugly

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Postby Dr. John Zeigler - PEP Ed » Fri Jun 04, 2004 3:14 pm

Most teachers and students have mixed opinions about competitions and their value. Much depends upon the way preparation is done and how the competition is approached by the participants. Let us know what you think about competing: if you're a teacher, what do you consider the advantages and disadvantages to be? Should the focus be on winning or on learning with the competition as a goal? If you're a student or parent, would you like to participate? Does your teacher enter students in competitions. What do you want from the experience. We would also like to hear about any particularly noteworthy competition experiences you've had, as a teacher, competitor, parent or even judge!
All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom. - Albert Einstein
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Postby Beckywy » Mon May 16, 2005 6:31 am

I send them in for the 2nd or 3rd pair of ears to listen to the pieces the students are preparing for their examinations. The comments are generally helpful. Also, it provides another opportunity for the students to perform and work out their stage fright. It's also great incentive to the kids to practice hard and listen well to me during their lessons.
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Postby pianogal » Mon Aug 06, 2007 2:07 pm

Oh no, competitions...just hearing this word, I'm already tensed up...I really have to kick out my nerves.

Competitions should be a great opportunity to get to see how good other students are and what level are you planning to reach. Having competitors make you improve. (I havn't had any competitions yet, so this is just an opinion ) I think it's also a great opportunity to meet other teachers, judges, students, and have conversations with them, get some tips, ideas...
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Postby Stretto » Mon Aug 06, 2007 5:29 pm

At a piano teacher's meeting last year a few of the teacher's said they really like the National Federation of Music Club's competition I believe it was as students compete against themselves playing in front of a judge not each other and earn points toward receiving a trophy.

I haven't entered students in competitions mainly because I don't know anything about them thus far or how to get students in any or what is expected. I suppose I would need to attend a few to get a feel for how it works before entering students. Not having been a competition-minded person myself, I don't know if I would be that big on getting students in them but I would like to be able to provide the opportunity for those students who are interested.

How important is it for students to be in competitions if they are planning on a performance career and going into college as a performance major? Would you say they really need to be doing competitions in this case?




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Postby pianogal » Tue Aug 07, 2007 10:08 am

I'd say it's really important. :;):
Since they want to get the performing career, they should try all kind of performance (competitions, recitals, festival, etc.) AND, get rid of the nerves :laugh:
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Postby Stretto » Tue Aug 07, 2007 11:33 am

If a teacher doesn't have opportunities for students to be in competitions or doesn't want to get too far into that realm then does anyone think they should send really diehard performance minded students or even those students that have some incling to possibly want to perform to other teachers that do have students in competitions?



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Postby 108-1121887355 » Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:11 pm

I think that is the point - for the students who would like to play in competitions, the teacher should offer the chance. I think a teacher could find competitions, even with other teacher's students. I would not say it was the only reason for starting with a new teacher. I think it would depend on how the student feels.
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Postby pianogal » Wed Aug 15, 2007 4:30 pm

Can anyone tell me about the MTNA competition? :D
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Postby Dr. John Zeigler - PEP Ed » Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:13 am

pianogal wrote:Can anyone tell me about the MTNA competition? :D

Although I think Dr. Leland could probably give you a more personal view on this, you can find out about the MTNA competition at http://www.mtna.org/Default.aspx?tabid=288. There are several age levels. You can get the application form from the link above. Good luck! :)
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Postby pianogal » Thu Aug 16, 2007 11:01 am

I couldn't ask for more than that website! Thanks very much! :)
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Postby pianogal » Thu Aug 16, 2007 11:03 am

Well, haha, anyone has any experience of that competition? :D
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Postby Dr. Bill Leland » Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:04 pm

Dear 'Gal,

I was Jr/Sr Auditions Chairman for New Mexico Music Teachers Association, MTNA, for years. If you're in high school you'd be in Senior division (there's also a college level).

First of all, to be in the state auditions you have to have a teacher who is an MTNA member and who will enter you. Auditions are held during each year's state convention, and your teacher will have the details.

Winners go to Regional, and those winners go to National. You can expect some stiff competition along the way.

Dr. Bill.
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Postby Tranquillo » Thu Sep 13, 2007 10:43 pm

I was talking to a music teacher in school today. (highschool) . We actually talked about auditioning. Thought it had relevance to competitions.
He mentioned to me that when he was out of highschool and trying to get into places it was extremely difficult.

But as far as auditioning he was able to get feedback constructivly in what areas he was good in and what areas he lacked. He mentioned the experience was good practice for performance in with different audiences.

So I thought that could relate to competitions criticisms and bounce offs should be looked upon valuably rather than abusively. Not only that but the atmosphere and the audience should be looked upon as an opportunity.

Anyways thats just a thought that passed me.,
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Postby Shanae » Thu Dec 06, 2007 5:38 am

Hi, I'm 15 years old and I've been playing piano for about 15 months now... I am still very nervous when it comes to playing in front of an audience so really I just want to get some confidence out of the competitions and concerts. So far I've only had to participate in 2 of these events so I think that it will only take time to sort it out.. Does anyone have tips on remaining calm during performances? I have a concert in about a week, and I'm trying my best to not work myself up as it's really not even a concert but a get together with my teachers students and family. Cheers!

- Shanae
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Postby Tranquillo » Fri Dec 07, 2007 5:02 am

Shanea, Its great to see you have checked out Piano Education page. If you register to become a member you'll find that there are other areas of the forum opened up. There is a section all towards perfomance.
Well as far as confidence, have you talked to your teacher on staying calm techniques? Also, have you performed infront of people before as a 'practice performance'? ... There is so much more to write but much of it correlates to what the forum under performance is.
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