Saturday, January 28, 2006

Piano Recital

Another rainy day! It seems that January is trying to make up for the rain we didn't get in November. Not that I keep up with the numbers, but my recollection of November is that I kept saying, "Wow, I can't believe it hasn't rained more by now...."

Anyway, it wasn't raining this morning when my piano students came for their recital. (And isn't it funny that we use the word recital for music and dance, and the word recite pretty much only for something involving words?) They came in their pretty dresses and one with his basketball uniform in his backpack for the after-the-recital game. They played their music, dropped their music, forgot and remembered parts of their music, bowed or forgot to bow. It was like so many piano recitals. Sweet, sincere, at times funny.

Most of my students are beginners right now. So they aren't playing music that astounds or deeply moves.

And yet every few months, when I organize a recital, I am amazed and moved by the simple truth that these children, however many months or years earlier, could not do what they did on this day. Their fingers would not fit into these positions. The symbols on the page meant nothing to them. They could not clap in time to a metronome and stay with it for anything. Some could not even sit still for a thirty-minute lesson. (Not that all can now all the time!)

And whether they are now playing Bach, or Big Ben, or Boogie Woogie Blues, they remind me that amazing things happen all around us all the time. We just don't see the wonder of them.

The way our minds can learn. The way our bodies heal from wounds. The way plants grow and flowers appear. The way we recognize faces and voices, even when every face and every voice is very similar to all the others. The way the sky turns pink in the evening as the sun sets. The way gravity holds us to the earth and holds the moon out there for us to see.

These are amazing things. None of us can make any of them happen. But they are so much a part of life that we forget how amazing they are.

I'm glad for piano recitals that remind me every now and then.

(The picture above shows students from a few years ago, since I don't have any from today.)

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