Tuesday, June 16, 2015

On Performance

Teacher Zita and Emily, a proud performer. (Emily performed the Theme from Star Wars and the them from the Largo by Dvorak)
Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.
--YODA, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace*

I am reflecting on the wonderful performances of my students at the end of the year recital I held at the Community Music Center on Sunday.
I sit with my students on stage until they are ready to go it alone. Even as they get more advanced, they often need me to turn pages. It is a lovely, but surreal experience. I sit and bask in their music. And often, little snippets of our conversations from our lessons come to me. Because after all, I am sitting at their side, just as if we are in a piano lesson!
I was so proud of each and every one of my students. And as I congratulated them, I heard some remarks about "mistakes" and "mess ups".  

Were there wrong notes played? Yes! Of course! We are, after all, imperfect humans. Not robots.

Would I enjoy a concert of robots playing each note perfectly. NO!

Because with each performance, we offer ourself up to the audience. We make ourself vulnerable. We are not only sharing the music we learned from the page, that was written by a composer, often hundreds of years before us. We also share a little bit of ourselves.  

I have heard "Fur Elise" by Beethoven played hundreds of times. Maybe thousands. And it is never played exactly the same.

What I experienced at my recital was humanity.  Beautiful people who had spent time working hard on mastering a piece of music. And then sharing this through the vessel of their human flesh to a very appreciative audience.

Please do not regret mistakes. Instead, celebrate the beautiful music between the mistakes.  

You deserve applause just for putting yourself onstage.

And I, as your teacher, applaud you from deep in my heart.

Love to you all and a happy summer!

Teacher Zita :)

*Read more at http://www.top10-best.com/y/top_10_best_yoda_quotes.html#YPrMJQTkvHbe6Vh6.99

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