The Soirée was wonderful and amazing!
On 2 December, Flourishing Muse Studio held the first in-person Soirée (aka student recital) since 2 December 2019. During the pandemic I was able to hold one on-line concert and although that was also wonderful it was not like seeing everyone play in the same venue on the same piano.
I hope everyone loved the new venue – I did! Beautiful space, tiered seating so everyone can see, fantastic acoustics, and a really nice grand piano. I am so grateful to ERUUF (Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship) to be allowed to rent the space and I hope to have the Spring Soirée there too.
All the students played so well from the 5 year old to the 14 year olds. I will talk to students as they come to lessons in the next two weeks before I break for the holidays on December 16. However Lucas played with such sensitivity it is hard to believe he is only in 9th grade. Sam also thrilled with Rush E and he is in 7th grade. Jikai played a difficult Sonatina from the RCM level 6 book and he only turned 12 in November! Louise played a song from Hamilton – challenging music and lovely playing. But all students played so well and I particularly noticed that everyone had really good hand positions on the keyboard.
I want to say something about nervousness. You can be thoroughly prepared for a performance and still have such nerves that you do not play as well as you know you can. There are many factors. If you were not well during or in the weeks leading up to a concert it can really affect your performance. If you had a lot of homework or other commitments that week, it can take the energy you need to play well. Mostly it comes down to concentration and clearing your mind of extraneous thoughts like who is watching me? What do they think of my playing? And lastly is it about being fully present in the music you are playing, being sensitive to the mood of the piece. This takes preparation in working on your interpretation. It could be a sad or mournful piece, or happy one, or you might want to emphasize the clarity of the composing.
I applaud the two Sipe boys who played their own compositions. My neighbor David Dodson attended the Soirée and he particularly liked the modern sounds in their compositions. In Spring I really want to see more students playing their own compositions and I will help write them down.
Bobby Hartman and sons Adam and Andrew were wonderful, helping in so many ways. I really appreciate that they came early and helped me set up, and Bobby took charge of keys and locking up at the end – thank you!
There are two more weeks of lessons and in them I will have candy canes for everyone. I did really forget them Friday night but I have them, allergy free, non-GMO, gluten free, vegan and mostly sugar!
If you would like to see the program here is the link