December 2, 2012

Recital Day is Here

Yes, today is our fall recital. We have been practicing for it since September, and for the most part, I think we are good. We are playing three pieces from Shindler's List, a piece from Batman Begins, and Bohemian Rhapsody (yes, by Queen). I think we sound pretty good, even if these are tough pieces to play for such a small group (piano, cello, and three violins).

In addition to these pieces, I am playing "Jupiter Chorale" on the cello. I love this piece of music, and I love playing it. I have been struggling a little bit with my cello, but hopefully I will do fine when it come to my two minutes of playing time.

Thank goodness, we are playing for friends and family only. No one is going to have a cow about our performance, and really, no one will even notice if we hit the wrong note occasionally.

I stress so over performance anxiety. I just googled it to see if I could find some useful tips for qwelling the nervousness that tends to cause me to lose my place. After reading one blog, I realized that for me to become an expert on the cello, I would need to play it consistently for at least 25 years! Whoohoo!! What comforting news! This is the start of my fourth year on cello, and given that my time is limited when it comes to practicing -- I think I am doing pretty well.

I am no Yo Yo Ma -- but I am good at cello -- for someone who learned to play it at age 47. Yes! This is true!! I didn't start learning to play the cello until I was 47, and then I have only had three years of lessons. I think I am doing pretty well, all things considering...

Some tips I picked up today to help me focus on my piece, and keep in the moment:

  • Remember that I have done my best, practiced, and rested. I am as good as I am today given my situation, age, circumstances, etc.
  • Relax and know that no one will care if I goof up. I am not a professional, and these are not judges and critics -- they are parents, grandparents, aunts/uncles, etc.
  • Focus on the moment, be in the moment, and remember that I am to play the piece of music -- not listen to it. That is the audience's job. I am simply playing something I love to play, and I am to be in the moment, enjoying making music on the cello
  • Last - just remembering that music is a gift God has graced me with recently. I didn't have the opportunity to learn as a child (well, I did, but I didn't use that time wisely). I have been given the gift of making music now as an adult. Therefore, enjoy the blessing of the gift and let it be, let it just be.
As I contemplate my piece, I am listening to my son warm up for his piece. He is playing "Tarkus" by Emerson, Lake and Palmer. He is doing a piano only arrangement of the piece, and well, he just blows me away with his ability. He has been playing for nine years now, and while he has decided not to study music or be a professional musician, he still plays regularly (at church, in a band, and other gigs). He still plays in Chamber even though he doesn't take lessons any longer. He is so cool - so very talented.

Well, as I think about this afternoon, I am struggling to stay alert. I am tired now, and I have to work from home later today. My job at CVS is really asking more from me than I can give to it, but after today, my schedule is pretty clear. I will be glad when this welcome season is over, that is for sure.

I have had some interest in my resume for teaching positions. I am not sure this is what I am to do, but I have left that door open. Grand Canyon University called to ask me if I was interested in interviewing. I replied, but haven't heard back. University of Phoenix is looking for a PT English instructor (campus - one day per week), but I haven't sent my reply back to them yet.

I wish I understood whether I was to quit CVS and go into teaching or whether I was to stick this out, and just remain in a very good job (with benefits, etc.) I believe that the Lord is moving me to another position to accommodate my studies at Regent (starting next June).  Oh, how I wish I understood what I was to do...

Well, I need to run through my piece one more time before we leave for recital.

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