The Eminent Child's first choke

The Eminent Child had her second piano recital yesterday. Thanks to the wonders of technology, The Eminent Wife connected via skype and I was able to listen to it. I got up at 4:00 for it and was worried I wouldn’t be able to hear it because the connection was so crappy. It wouldn’t handle the video so I just listened to it. I did get to see her before she went onstage, looking beautiful with her hair in two big buns and wearing a beautiful green dress she got from Grandpa Hansen and Grandma Jean.

Last year we really worked a lot to prepare for the stage. I wasn’t around this year to help with that but I thought it would be okay. I listened to her practice a few weeks ago and the song (a disney medley of Mickey Mouse, Electric Light Orchestra, Zippidee Doo dah, and one other I forgot offhand) was still developing. The Eminent Wife said she had tightened it up and was playing it great, so I wasn’t worried.

But as I sat there this morning listening to it, I was hoping that it was just a bad connection that I was hearing. It was terrible. Many missed notes, stops, restarts, tempo fluctuations. I felt bad for her, but we’d talked about the choice a performer has to make. It’s either deal with the hassle of practicing in order to get the good feeling on the performance day or take it easy on the practice but deal with the pain of not performing well.  More practice would have helped her but I think that my absence also hurt her mental preparation and focus. The Eminent Wife has been busy with her job as well and I wish that I could have been there to help them both out in preparing for this. Last year we’d done visualization practices and I’d given her a mantra (“I can do this!”) that I saw her say to herself when she sat down last year and NAILED it.

It’s a challenge as a parent to take advantage of the learning opportunity this provides. I’m still hugely proud of her and am only disappointed that she didn’t get to experience the joy of a top notch performance. But there are good lessons here too. Sometimes things don’t work out, sometimes you drop the ball, sometimes you didn’t practice and prepare enough. I think it was Alfred of Batman lore that said “Falling down is just an opportunity to get back up”. Another good mantra to have.

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1 Comment

  1. Bill

     /  September 5, 2011

    Sorry things didn’t go so well! But wise words from a thoughtful dad – I hope she will feel encouraged to keep it up. You are absolutely right – failure is a necessary step in really mastering something.


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