Monday, August 16, 2010
The traumas of my public performances
One of my most humiliating memories of being a teenager is related to me playing the piano in public, so this is a loaded topic for me. And, since it's one of my most humiliating moments, why I don't just go ahead and share the story with you all in public cyberspace land?!!
When I was 13, in Year 8, I had to play the piano at the school's morning assembly. There was a roster for all the piano students over a certain grade, and we took a turn about twice a year to accompany on the piano for the daily hymn we sang at assembly.
Of course, I had practiced and hymns aren't exactly technically difficult so in theory I should have been totally fine. However, I got super nervous. And this led to my legs starting to shake followed closely by my hands. The result was an accompaniment that started to slow down dramatically as the verses to the hymn went by. By the second last verse, the very British headmaster announced, "Well, we might leave it there for today - we seem to be having some problems with the piano this morning."
While I was very relieved that the agony was over, I was so humiliated. I'm probably the only one who really cared. Somehow I managed to never have to do it again. Not sure how I managed to get out of it because I continued to play the piano. Perhaps my name was quietly removed from the roster!
Disappointing to discover on Saturday that I still get so nervous playing in public, even though I felt quite relaxed beforehand. Oh well - thankfully the examination wasn't for me and my son played beautifully (and I can brag since he won't blow his own trumpet - oh, I know, just too funny ...).