I did the recital. My lesson was two days prior. After going through a couple of options, and discarding the ones already taken, my teacher and I decided I would play Dvorak’s Humoresque for my fist ever solo. Yes, two days prior to the recital. Ugh. I hadn’t played it in nearly a year. With very little time to bring it up to speed, I showed up late due to traffic and had the opportunity to play it through with the accompanist exactly one time. Needless to say, I flubbed the performance, missing two shifts in the middle and demonstrating some pretty poor intonation. *sigh*
I was under prepared for the group numbers too. For one of them, I laid out the wrong music. How many gavottes are there anyway? I tried to play it from memory and ended up air bowing a couple of measures before stepping into the back row to cheat off someone else’s book. Honestly, if anyone I knew had been there I would have been deeply embarrassed. As it is, I will just chalk it up to one bad experience and hope that I get more notice and practice time for the next one.
Sadly, I was the only adult student there. None of the others ever make time to attend. I’ve never even met them. They might be mythical – like unicorns, or good hair days. However, I really enjoyed watching the kids perform, and took some mental notes on what I can learn to improve my own performance going forward. It was surprising to realize that most of them have been playing for years longer than me, even though I’m playing more advanced material. Also interesting was that they all struggled at certain points. Nobody had a flawless performance, even the superstar. I was a bit relieved by that. Perhaps I should suggest that we do something just for the adults sometime. We could gather at someone’s home and have drinks after. Or maybe before. I might play better after a glass or two of wine.
Once all the performances were done, certificates (for testing I assume?) and trophies were handed out to the kids. I was surprised. That never happened when I played piano as a child, but we didn’t have testing then as far as I’m aware. If there was, my parents opted out for me. I certainly don’t remember having certificates or trophies at recitals. We did do group pictures back then though. I have one or two of them around here someplace with me rocking out one of my groovy 70’s maxi dresses. There were no group pictures this time. No trophies or certificates for for me. I settled for a cup of diet coke and a quick exit.
Honestly though, while a poor performance would have been discouraging in the past, this time it makes me want to work harder. I want to play well, and even if that means I play alone 99.99% of the time, I will use that time to improve. This isn’t a race. It’s not my career. The only thing I have to worry about is not meeting my own expectations. I know what I need to do. Time to buckle down and make it happen. And I suppose my participation must have encouraged somebody. One of the moms asked me how long I have been playing, confessing that she had always wanted to learn. I told her to go for it. I hope she does.
Afterwards, I took this picture, just to prove I survived.
Then I went out and had a margarita the size of my head.