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Beginner Is it normal

Jeanette

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I've been learning to play for about 9 months now and am not finding it easy however I diligently practise work set by my tutor each week and usually by the next lesson feel that I have accomplished something and can play the pieces. But every week when I then play for him it is no where near as good as I know I have played it. It must be nerves but why I don't know. It is just so frustrating.

If I can't play in front of him I'll never be able to contemplate an exam or performance of any kind.
:(

Anybody else overcome this problem?


Jx
 

BigMartin

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Definitely normal. If you weren't nervous it would mean you didn't care.

The stuff you prepare for lessons tends naturally to be at the limit of your technical skills, so it's bound to come out less well under pressure. In a performance situation, you'd want to be playing something that's well within your capabilities, so you know it'll be OK even on a bad day. And in that case the nerves (if they're not too severe) can sharpen your concentration so you actually play better.

You just have to get used to it. I get nervous just recording myself, even though I know I can always do another take. If you have the facilities, it might be worth recording some of the pieces you were playing a couple of months ago. Maybe even post them on here. Play to family and friends, even if it's only "Happy Birthday".
 

aldevis

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Always.
Fear of judgment.
To play in front of 5000 people is far much easier, don't worry.
 

Fraser Jarvis

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My teacher used to get me to play duets out of the Jazzmatazz book, i could play it fine, no problem on my own but in his company i kind of felt intimidated in the presence of greatness and went to bits.
 

old git

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Jeanette,
This is a saxophone, therefore nothing is normal.>:)

You must remember that your tutor is your EMPLOYEE. Try to imagine him or her in a ridiculous form of dress and think of them as idiots. Every time they criticise you, gently point out that the problem is poor teaching techniques.

Give ir a go girl.
 

kevgermany

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Me too - to conquer it I just relax. OG's technique is really good, especially if you extend it to imagine the teacher in a really embarassing situation.

But the best way I've found is to practise to well above the required standard/speed, then go in knowing it'll be good. Works - just like it does in public speaking.

Having said that, I had a bad week last week, but ususally I'm on top of it.
 

Jeanette

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Jeanette,
This is a saxophone, therefore nothing is normal.>:)

You must remember that your tutor is your EMPLOYEE. Try to imagine him or her in a ridiculous form of dress and think of them as idiots. Every time they criticise you, gently point out that the problem is poor teaching techniques.

Give ir a go girl.

Thanks OG that brought a smile to my face, I was so fed up I hadn't picked the sax up since Wed but I promise I will later.

:blowkiss:

Jx
 

Jeanette

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Thanks to everyone else too.

I do sometimes record myself and like you Martin make more mistakes then, but after a few recordings sometimes manage an acceptable one, I even sent a recording to my tutor after one bad episode just to prove I could play it!

Nick believe me your pupils will have played better at home, not necessarily perfect but better than you hear, must be as frustrating for you as them.;}

Thank you all again

Jx
 
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ArtyLady

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Yes absolutely normal - I hear it from my students too and I also get quite nervous at a gig when my friends are there rather than somewhere where I don't know anyone and I don't get nervous at all! :thumb:
 

MandyH

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Jeanette,
This is a saxophone, therefore nothing is normal.>:)

You must remember that your tutor is your EMPLOYEE. Try to imagine him or her in a ridiculous form of dress and think of them as idiots. Every time they criticise you, gently point out that the problem is poor teaching techniques.

Give ir a go girl.

IMHO and IME a teacher should NEVER criticize you - if they do, get rid of them.
I don't ever feel humbled by my teacher, she is wonderful at getting me to change or try something different without ever telling me that what I did was wrong.
As I always say to my husband when I get back from my lesson - another lesson of ego-boosting - I always come back from my lessons on cloud 9.
 

MandyH

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the most common quote that i heard from my long suffering music teacher all those years ago was "nice, now play it as written"

Zoot... our mum tells many a tale of my younger sister, whose teacher would often say the same. Apparently my sister was good at sounding good, so our mum never knew if what she was playing was correct.
However, the teacher was often frustrated by my sister's ability to improvise, rather than play the dots anywhere near correctly.
 

aldevis

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1- If teachers don't criticize the wrongdoing of students, students might become hyper-confident bad musicians. Plenty of them around and they never get the second gig.
2- You can try to think of teachers in embarrassing situations, but we usually keep a very high level of dignity, whatever we do, wherever we are.
 
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Targa

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Like a lot of words 'criticise' has lost its meaning and is now only taken as pejorative.
It can be good or bad and is exactly what a teacher should be doing.
 

MandyH

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Like a lot of words 'criticise' has lost its meaning and is now only taken as pejorative.
It can be good or bad and is exactly what a teacher should be doing.

Fair comment - but still not to the point of leaving the student feeling uncomfortable or humiliated.

You can indicate the correct method or procedure rather than coach the student with negative comments.
And guidance should be worded in the positive as it has a far more permanent effect.

eg in archery I train my beginners to "hold their arm up", rather than "not to drop their arm". It leaves a positive instruction embedded in their head.

I guess in sax playing that could be (say) to "relax the bottom jaw" rather than "not bite so hard".
 
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