December has been about getting some performance practice for me. Dealing with being nervous, the extra adrenaline, memory lapses and pretty much anything else a performance throws at me. Each time I perform, I learn something new – sometimes about the music I play and other times, just plain important practical things that I wouldn’t have found out otherwise.
Last weekend I performed Beethoven’s Sonata Pastorale (first movement only). Great experience since playing under pressure is always so different from playing in my jams in a comfy practice session. Doubly so for me with Beethoven since the piece is relatively new and never performed before. And what did I learn about it? Never wear glasses while playing this piece. No, really.
The piece started out great but as it progressed my glasses began to slowly slip further and further down my nose. The piece had moments where I had to really use arms with some force for the forte to get the depth, and each time that happened, they progressed further down. It got to a point where they were beginning to feel like they were restricting my nose a little. And here I am thinking are you kidding me?? Of all things! Less oxygen means less for my muscles and brain. Eventually I became preoccupied with trying to figure out the perfect moment to slide them back up without interrupting the piece. And my distraction sadly showed. But hey, learning experience.
Lesson: Wear contacts while performing.