Thursday, October 27, 2011

Journeys Into the Unknown - Student Recitals...

Some of my most poignant memories stem from recitals; not mine, but students of mine.
Try these two incidents for size:
One of my young ladies emerged to play a work of Clementi. There's nothing really unusual about a Clementi performance; HOWEVER, she was sufficiently nervous to begin a work by the composer which did not happen to be the work intended for that golden moment.
I have never experienced ANYWHERE a work played in public that was not the work printed on the program. I can assure you that both she and I went on a trip through Hades during that particular offering. I lived my life a thousand times by the time she finished. Miraculously, the work she played was done in its entirety without mishap.
I would not wish any of my colleagues such an undergoing.
On another occasion, a very young lass and I were playing a series of duets by Diabelli before a rather large audience, an audience quite curious about a five-year old playing in public.
Unfortunately, neither my student nor I had noticed that one of the keys she played had a small but jagged edge, due to some previous breakage. Sure enough, she cut a finger about half-way through the music, which contained six pieces. Both she and I became witness to a gradual introduction of the color red, not normally associated with the traditional black/white combination connected with the piano keyboard. By the time the composition was performed(yes, she continued on!), both she and I, let alone the keyboard, had indeed become highly colorful performers. Fortunately, the blood flow was minimal, as she must have barely grazed that jagged edge during that fateful moment, and never furthered the damage to her finger. No one in the audience knew what had occurred, and directly after our bows, we repaired to a rest room in the building to administer a complete washing to that hand with the aid of hydrogen peroxide, which fortunately was available for reasons I will never know.
How about the word "brave" for that little kindergartner, who never complained during this entire debacle?
And how about the teacher? I can assure you that complete recovery took days...

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