(Hi guys, sorry for not posting yesterday, shorter post today. Getting a bit busy atm, but trying to find time for this.)
I had a piano competition yesterday…and I played pretty well. I thought that it was very expressive, and only a small mistake or two in one of the pieces. Honestly, I was pretty proud of myself, and thought it was one of my better performances in public.
Then I heard the next person…and the next, and by the time everyone else had played, I knew that I was not deserving of a place or medal at that competition. Technique-wise, my pieces weren’t nearly as difficult as my oppositions’ works. They weren’t as lengthy, not as technically challenging, and not as impressive. In terms of expressiveness, I felt that I was average compared to the others…it was an incredible experience listening to the music.
Sometimes…we only realize our ineptitude when standing next to those who are great. Only in perspective and in comparison to those who are truly masters, do we come to see our own flaws and shortcomings. When I played against those 4 other people, I knew I wasn’t just worse, but I was outclassed.
Very humbling as an experience, but also quite inspiring. I left that day feeling a little crushed (there goes my ego) but also motivated and passionate. I wanted to play like this one day, to make music flow effortlessly, the passion flowing out from the keys as they danced. Even if I don’t become a pianist when I grow up, I hope to pursue piano as a hobby, a backwater of my life. Music brings us so much joy, if only we choose to see it, and feel it with our hearts and souls.
I got 4th out of 5 people…so better than expected since one performer had missed a part in her difficult and lengthy piece. Had I still gotten last in spite of the mess up, I would have truly been disheartened at my total inadequacy next to these people.
In truth though, this experience taught me something more. It’s not about others, or winning the competition. It’s about playing for yourself, for others, telling your story to the audience. It’s not just a performance, it’s a part of you that is being shared.
Music may not be my life, but it’s a really good part of it, and I intend to keep it that way.
Thanks for reading, and enjoy the music in your life.