Posts tagged ‘piano’
I play the piano.
For the past 20+ years I have been a piano teacher; first in Los Angeles and then for the past 14 years, to many children of the Sonoma Valley. It’s been a very satisfying and rewarding way to spend one’s time (oh yeah, and to get paid for doing it!) — I have been very fortunate in this aspect of my life.
But in these past 20+ years, my life with the piano has been that of a teacher, not really a player, and most certainly not as a performer. I had plenty of required performances while in music school, but I embraced the path of teaching, not performing, in my post-school life.
Fast forward from my music school days to late 2011…….. Feeling restless, anticipating the approaching new year, hoping for some changes and/or challenges in my life…………How could I get out of “the box” in 2012? And sure enough, at about this same time, I received a Facebook inbox message from Sheila Whitney — Sonoma Valley’s chanteuse extraordinaire.
(Photo credit of Sheila Whitney — Betsy Kershner)
Unknowingly, Sheila was extending her hand to help me climb out of “the box” in asking if I would accompany her in an upcoming recital. With equal measures of fright and excitement (perhaps a bit of folly!), I responded to Sheila’s request in my most confident keyboard typing with a “yes, I would love to accompany you.” Cue the shaky fingers and beating heart, because now I knew I had committed myself and I could not let Sheila (or myself) down.
The recital was conceived as a nod to Valentine’s Day – \”The Art of Love\” featuring art songs in German, Italian, French, and English. I was graciously allowed to choose which art songs I wanted to play, and with no surprise, I chose the French songs — a trio of them by Gabriel Fauré (1845 – 1924).
I practiced and learned my part, followed by rehearsals with Sheila, and then arrived the Recital day — this past Sunday, February 12. I nervously paced around my house all morning until I left for the recital. A quick run through with Sheila before the audience arrived, and then 1 more hour of nervous pacing until it was show time. As 3PM approached, with a full house in attendance, I saw Gilles take his seat in the audience.
I was scheduled to accompany Sheila during the middle part of the program. I walked up to and sat at the piano and while she was introducing me to the audience, the most unexpected thing happened…………………. Seated at the piano bench, I looked out at the audience and the most wonderful and soothing calm came over me. I had prepared and rehearsed, and at that moment, I knew I could perform — for Sheila, for myself, for Gilles, and for the audience. I loved every moment of my less than 10 minute performance — not a long duration of time, but a huge “baby step” for me. It was a perfect re-introduction to performance.
Today is Valentine’s Day — a day to share love. Two days ago, with mon amour in the audience, I discovered a new love — sharing my piano playing. I guess that means that I indeed got out of my box…………and onto the bench (the piano bench, that is!).
Thank you Sheila — for your leap of faith in me. I can’t wait to do it again!