I did it!

For the first time, I played piano in front of an audience larger than one!

For the last week I’d been planning to give the open mic a try just to get over this my fear of playing in public, but then I had a very disappointing piano lesson today. A piece I thought I could do reasonably well just fell completely apart. We talked about how I always learn the notes really fast but then slow down in progressing beyond that, and that my progress is “ooookay”. I was so disappointed with myself I was almost crying. I was upset about disappointing my teacher. I felt soooo small and suddenly the open mic seemed like a really bad idea.

And then I realised that I can either attack it head on, or feel like a coward for the next four weeks till I have a chance at the open mic again. So I went, I played two pieces even though after the first one my hands were shaking really badly. It was a small audience, but very supportive, and I played through, with some minor mistakes no one seemed to notice. I am so proud I didn’t stop for any mistakes, I didn’t slow down or speed up, I survived! People said they didn’t notice any mistakes and I know there were a few, but it’s amazing how i can play through them if I know I have to.

I’m still grinning. And I’m so proud that I went and did it.

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Music in Lyddington: Ching-Yun Hu

Music in Lyddington offers an annual series of small classical concerts in a stunning setting – the church is beautiful and at the same time spacious and intimate. I went to a piano recital by Ching-Yun Hu yesterday and I enjoyed it very much, despite the nightmare that was getting there and back.

She played Beethoven’s Sonata in A, Op.101, two pieces by Chopin: Scherzo No.4 in E, Op.54, and Polonaise in A flat Op.53, and after the interval four Schubert transcriptions by Liszt, i.e. Aufenhalt, Standchen von Shakespeare, Auf dem Wasser zu Singen, Erlkonig, followed by one of two Rachmaninov’s Sonata, No.2 in B flat minor Op.36.

I particularly liked the Erlkoenig piece because although I knew the poem before she explained how Liszt’s transcription distinguished four different ‘voices’ – the narrator, the father, the son, and the Erlkoenig. Listening to the piece I really felt I could follow the ‘story’ in musical terms, too.