Last week our kids participated in a Piano Festival. This is an event where piano students present their piano pieces before a judge to be rated on how well they are doing. This year Savanna, Andy and Coby brought their best 2 pieces of music and played them before a judge. For parents, this is a nervous time because you are really hoping they get a good review so that they will continue on the road to piano nirvana. "Nirvana for piano players is when you get to a point the you can sit down at the piano and play just about anything that is plopped down in front of you." Unfortunately, I have not reached nirvana yet and I don't think I'll even get there.
Each of our kids were directed to their room with their music to be evaluated. I went with Savanna and Deanna went with Coby. I could tell that Savanna was nervous but she was keeping it under control. I waited until she was called into the room, and then I plastered my ear to the door in hopes of gleening as much information as I could as to what was happening inside. It was silent for a while, and then she played a 5 finger scale in hopes of warming up and dispelling her nervousness. She began her first piece and after the first line of music, I could tell she was having trouble. She stopped, my heart stopped. She started again and then after the second line of pros, she stopped again. I was terrified. Stopping twice on the same song was not a good start, not at all. I was then sick to my stomach that she had lost the top marks you can get at festival, "Superior". Savanna regained her composure and played through the first song without missing a beat. She paused for a minute and then started her second piece which was played without faults.
When she opened the door, I about fell over as my ear had become inseparably connected with the wood grain. I pretended to be leaning on my arm and casually asked how she did. She said she did fine, "which is what they always say" and walked over and sat down to wait for the results. Within a couple of minutes the door opened and a folder was presented to the helper. She handed it to Savanna and I looked over while holding my breath. At the top it read, "Superior"! Whewww!
After returning to the front of the church "7th ward building", to hear the results of Coby and Andy, I recalled a time when I was sitting at the piano bench with sweaty fingers and pounding heart as I was being judged on my piano prawes. I told the story of when I had received an "Excellent" instead of a "Superior". It was a troubling day which, to this day, I blame on the fact that my judge happened to be my regular piano teacher. She knew all of my faults and knew exactly where I would have trouble. For some reason I don't blame it on the young boy that would rather play baseball outside than to practice his piano every day. I blame it on the misfortune of having my teacher be my judge at Piano Festival.