Thursday, May 26, 2011

Alex's Piano Recital

The big event in the life of our new pianist, Alex, was Tuesday, May 24th...recital night!  Yes, after 9 months of lessons, it was time to perform for an audience of family, friends, and some unfamiliar faces.  He did so well!  And, in his words, "I didn't make any mistakes!" you find the best way to sum up how he felt about his performance.
This recital almost didn't take place. 
He had other plans.  
Alex has always wanted to play the drums. 
He wanted drum lessons. 
I am not against drum lessons. 
But, I, looking at a bigger picture, had a different goal in mind for my then 7 year old son.  I wanted him to take piano lessons. 
We had to compromise.
Our agreement was that he had to take at least one year of piano lessons then he could choose drums if he wanted.  My reasoning was that, this way, he'd learn to read music and have a good foundation in music before just banging away on drums like there was no tomorrow.  
He knew his piano teacher from church, so going in he was comfortable with his teacher.  That was a wonderful thing for starters!  He went willingly, but only had the idea of one year in mind...drumsticks never far from his mind.
However, I can honestly say that after one lesson he was hooked and hasn't looked back since!  He never had to be reminded to practice.  He'd go and sit at our keyboard on his own off and on throughout the day almost everyday of the week. 
His confidence grew with each lesson.  Even the tougher pieces that initially brought some frustration, he worked on and eventually learned with seemingly no effort.  He enjoyed playing for friends and family members that came to visit.
He's not perfect. 
He's probably not the next Beethoven.  
But, he's confident and he's dedicated to doing his best.  He looks very natual behind a set of black and white keys.  His playing brings smiles.  He's blessing others with his new skill.  And, in my book, he's good.
As the recital date approached, we went about things as usual.  Practice.  Pep talks about what to do if something went "wrong".  Encouragement to do his best.  He was pretty excited about getting to play in a recital.  More excited, I think, than nervous.  In fact, I think I was more nervous than he was.
He was able to practice before the recital began, which was a blessing.  His first attempt at his first song was less than perfect.  He looked at me.  I smiled back and told him to try again from the beginning.  He started over and played through both his pieces without a mistake.  His confidence was at a new high and he went on through to play both his pieces, The Kangarooster and Snake Dance without any glitches in the recital.  As he would near the end of his pieces, a little smile appeared on his face. 
He had overcome any nervousness he might have had in the beginning. 
He was happy and enjoying his moment in the spotlight.
What more could I hope for than that!
He's already looking forward to piano practice beginning again this fall...with no mention of drum lessons lately.  My eardrums are safe for now.    

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