Another Spring Open Stage
Bernadette Ashby, California
I’ve been teaching Simply Music since last fall and had my very first Student Concert this past weekend. If I were to describe it in a few words I would say that it was an “emotional boost.” Everything ran smoothly, students and parents were encouraged, and I even had about 6 inquiries at the end. 10 out of my 14 students performed, ages 5-12, and about 65 people came to see the concert. It ran for about 40 minutes and was held at the church that I attend. Call time was one hour before the performance to give the kids a chance to practice before they actually performed. You should have seen my student’s eyes when they realized they were playing on a grand piano. I don’t think any of them have even touched one. They all did great and parents and guests were so impressed. They are already asking when the next concert is and my kids are letting me know which songs they want to play next time. If I had to highlight something about the concert, it would be a moment I had with one of my students at her next lesson. The day after the concert, Alexandra and her parents came for lessons. With her parent’s coaxing, she admitted that she was saddened by the fact that she did not play her pieces perfectly at the concert. We talked about that a bit – trying to do her best, new environment with a new piano, people watching. Then I had an opportunity to normalize the situation. “Alexandra, it’s not so much about playing the piano pieces perfectly, but it’s another chance to learn a new skill: the skill of recovery which is just as important as playing perfectly. In all of life, we will make mistakes and it takes a person of courage to be able to ‘pull up their boot straps’ when they’ve fallen and continue moving forward.” I focused on her strength of recovering quickly after making a mistake on her piano piece. I think that encouraged her heart. So, if I had to do another concert again, there would be no question about it! There is too much value to be had.
Original discussion started May 21, 2003