I hosted our annual spring soiree last night. I think this is the kids' favorite performance opportunity of the year. First they play whatever it is we've been working on these last few weeks, then it's cookie bedlam and open-piano, when they get to play anything and everything. It is always a pleasure to see the parents' faces when their child is performing, a privilege I am denied at the formal Spring Recital.
No, the soiree is an informal music party, where we gather around the living room, and enjoy the children's successes. I had one adult student join us this year. Not to play, oh, no. He had a much more important role, that of drawing the name of the next performer.
Yes, the students perform in random order. No time to get nervous. Just walk on up and give it your best. One of my youngest students, just 5 years old, fractured his wrist last week. He still wanted to play! He performed the Ode to Joy, from Beethoven's 9th, and The New World Symphony, by Dvorak, right hand alone. And no music! He got up from the bench, bowed very confidently, and rushed back to his mother's lap.
I'd stated in an earlier post that The Bow needs attention. We worked on that last night. Funny thing, the kids seem more self-conscious with The Bow, they feel silly and the subject of possible ridicule. They are very comfortable at the piano, even when they forget where to start, even when they make mistakes, even when I ask them to play it again. The Bow has been my most challenging lesson -- go figure.
I love the soiree. I love the kids' confidence and enthusiasm. I love the parents' pride and satisfaction. I love that they can see how I interact, a little differently with each child. Oh, I love my job!