I had the opportunity last weekend of attending a county-wide piano student holiday recital. I think 35-40 kids participated. Between the students, parents, and residents of the assisted living facility in attendance, I was lucky to get a seat at the back of the hall! All in all, the young musicians did well. Some were better prepared than others.
One student in particular arrived late, and without his music. More power to him: he sat down at the piano and attempted to play from memory. I was touched by his determination. He got stuck. What to do to help him? Really nothing. He learned, as did the others in attendance, the importance of being prepared, and the grace of accepting defeat. He was, even in his vulnerability, an inspiration.
A few of my students sat in front of me. I enjoyed watching them as they listened to the other students perform. The older brother's hands were fingering the armchair as his younger sister played. I do that! I was especially humored when another student played an arrangement of something one of my kids was also playing. Whispering to mom, nudging dad's arm. They are learning to listen critically, to discern a fine performance. It was as much a joy to watch the audience as it was to listen to the performance.