Recital Nightmare

I am writing this on my first “Let it Go” day and wondering if there is anyone else out there that needs to “let it go”!

I thought I had forgotten but the memory is still there. Every once in a while I go back to 1995,  disappointed, worried and discouraged.  It is one month away from my graduate recital at TCU under the masterful teaching of Judith Solomon (now deceased), and I have not even begun to learn one of my pieces.  Why did I procrastinate?  Why did I not use my time wisely? I can’t even sing the melody of this piece I have not learned and I know I am expected to play it in front of a jury. This jury will decide if I am ready or not to give my graduate recital.  What should I do? How can I make this work?  Why did I not prepare?  All the months of preparing and studying  other subjects will go down the drain because I neglected to learn one piece!  Now I am a total failure!

And then I wake up.

I focus my eyes on the ceiling.  What year is it?  Where am I?

Oh yeah. Its 2011.  I DID practice and memorize all my pieces.  I DID give a beautiful piano recital.  I DID graduate with a M.M. in Piano Pedagogy.   The diploma is somewhere in my studio office.  Maybe if I put it on the wall and glance at it in passing, I will be able to “let it go”.

Performing in recitals is a not a comfortable thing for me.  I walked out on Bach when I went blank during my Junior recital in college. I never dream about it.  You would think THAT recital would be a recurring dream…

So, I am going to “Let It Go”.  How?  I am going to think about all the positive things that happened during and after this graduate recital. I am going to listen to the recording of this recital and enjoy the perfect parts and the not so perfect parts.  I am going to find my diploma and put it on the wall.  I am going to” let go” of this recital nightmare!

5 Replies to “Recital Nightmare”

  1. I can relate to this post on so many levels! For my M.M. in Performance Pedagogy I had to feature my students in a lecture recital, take comprehensive exams, and do my solo recital all within 3 weeks. I have nightmares about those weeks and wake up and realize that survived long ago with success. At the time, I pleaded with my professor to let me postpone my recital – but he wouldn’t let me. It’s not my best recital, but I didn’t “fall off the bench.” That’s usually the worst thing that I tell myself that could happen. So glad I don’t have to live those 3 weeks again!

  2. I, also, can relate very much to your post!! My Junior and Senior recitals left much to be desired…but I survived somehow! Fortunately, through those learning experiences, I learned much about memorizing and preparing for performances and was able to give a much more successful Master’s recital. All those days of anxiety are over, thank goodness! Some people really thrive on public performances, but not me. I love learning new music and performing in informal settings, but I love piano teaching even more. I so happy to have that coursework behind me so I can focus on what I really enjoy.

    Thanks for your thoughtful and honest article. 🙂

  3. I’m just nervous about a new school year for piano, which is how I found your site. I’m wondering, do I REALLY have the capability to teach 5 year olds without turning them off to piano? I just have to LET GO and have faith that this is what I am supposed to do. Thanks!

    1. Ruth!
      Thanks for visiting!
      You will have a great piano year with those lovely 5 year olds – just have fun with the music and I promise you will not turn them against the piano!

  4. I knew Judy well when I was at TCU many years ago. She would have shored you up all the way to that recital and beyond! She was the best.

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