Bach PLAYED COOL

How a pianist calmed the public performance butterflies

ALL THE WAY through high school I took music lessons. There was a piano at home, a marching band to join at school, and an Explorer Scouts jazz band to play in. My parents provided the piano and clarinet lessons. Plenty of performance opportunities came my way—at school concerts, dances, and recitals. But the ones that challenged me the most were the solo piano recitals. I distinctly remember the first one.

My teacher and I had worked together on a piece during lessons, and I had practiced it at home. I even played it at the recital hall with my teacher serving as an audience of one. But when performance day came, it was as though my fingers had turned into soft butter. I felt alone on that stage, exposed, responsible for a perfect performance, and definitely inadequate for the task. Fear won round one.

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CHURCH LIVES
I find strength in unity
August 9, 2004
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