I often hear students say the funniest things. For example, a young student exclaimed gleefully upon entering the studio, "This looks like a recording studio! This is going to be easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy." A young teenager stated, "I am really tired because I got up at six to prepare but I didn't." Another walked on stage and said, "Wait. Where is Middle C?" and another asked me which pedal to use. My favorite moment happened a while ago. A student walked up on stage, played an entire piece in the wrong mode as the result of starting on the wrong note. At the conclusion of the performance, the student came over to me and quietly said, "There's something wrong with that piano. It sounds BAD."
I often remember my mother's sage advice. "Never lose your child-like self; but childishness is never tolerated. Know the difference." Pouting, sulking, throwing temper tantrums, holding grudges, being spiteful or disrespectful was never tolerated by the adults in my childhood and much to the surprise and ultimate delight of some of my young students, it is also not tolerated in my studio. But a great sense of humour and a wild imagination are always welcomed.
Honestly, we have all done things and said things that we would rather erase. In this day of instant social media, it is particularly important that we not take ourselves too seriously. In some cases, the humiliation could be considered crushing. To rise above the humiliation is the key. Know yourself. Be kind to yourself. Be passionate about what you do. And above all, please learn to laugh at yourself. Stay focused on your mission and remember you walk beside everyone else, not one step behind nor one step in front.
Copyright by Heidi Peters, heidipetermusic.com, Winnipeg, Canada, July 2016. All Rights Reserved.