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Tempo, tempo, tempo!

Hello, My name is Claire, and I conduct pieces too quickly.

I've been doing some thinking since out experience at Central yesterday. After my little trouble getting things going with "Les Estoiles," many of you had very supportive things to say, which I appreciate. At the time, I had many hunches as to why things went the way they did - nerves, transitioning from the previous piece, having never been there before, interpreting the piece at a fast tempo - but, really, this tendency to go fast is global and can be traced back to my beginning conducting days. Reviewing the last few videos that were posted, I can hear the piece at the tempo I'd like to take it, see it wanting to come through in my body, and actually portraying something completely different. It's like I'm missing a connection somewhere. Watching my "Wood River" video, I feel like the tempo in my arms could work if I were to use more space (same velocity, bigger beat) or use the same size with slow velocity. I'm thinking I could benefit from expanding the amount of space between 2-3 so that there is an equal ratio of space for equal time. AND I would like to think about taking more time within the beats, being in the moment, breathing, and slowing down. Last week, Matt mentioned how the tempo sometimes ends up matching your heart beat. It's funny - I don't really feel nervous until I get to the podium and I my have the physiological symptoms of nervousness... including a racing heart! I'm sure this affects my performance.

Tomorrow I need to: Think about the fastest rhythmic sections of the excerpt before conducting, taking time to place myself in the music, breathing, and using the space of my conducting accurately.

...we'll see how it goes!

Comments

Claire,

You may be tired of hearing this, but conducting the metronome - while tedious - is VERY helpful. It builds in muscle memory at a specific tempo, so even if your heart is racing or other circumstances distract, you hands can fall back on what they have learned.