Friday, April 30, 2010
Piano Group 4.27.10
So years ago I started daydreaming about starting a piano group, kind of like a book club, where a few of us would meet monthly, play for each other, and have wonderful conversations about music and life. I even tried to start one, but it just kind of fizzled. There were too many distractions: kids, teaching, life. Plus, I only had my upright, and it, while utilitarian, is hardly a concert instrument.
And then came the move. And my Pramberger. And suddenly it felt like the right time to move forward with the piano group thing.
I contacted friends: college friends, teaching friends, even someone I didn't know at all but wanted to get to know. And we all felt the same way: totally excited. And a little nervous.
I mean, for most of us it's been YEARS since we've been critiqued by other pianists. We've spent years critiquing our students, listening critically to help shape and mold young musicians. But playing for other musicians...it's kind of daunting. It's one of the most intimate experiences there is, to lay your weaknesses in front of someone with such a great knowledge and be willing to share what you are. We've discussed music and performance and technique for hours, but actually sitting down and making music? Totally different.
So Tuesday we met to play for each other. We heard Haydn from Cheryl, Mozart from Bridget, Bach from Allison, Chopin from Kathryn, Mompou from me (I learned the Cancion y danza #6 that I had considered learning for my recital last year), and Bach from Cody.
It was lovely. It was heart-filling. While Kathryn was playing Chopin's Ballade #1 (which I played for one of my college recitals, so it has a special significance to me), I just felt so darned happy. I just felt like I was in the right place at the right time, and that all of this music? It's still me. I still belong to it. It's time to jump back in and love it and appreciate it and work hard and perform and be happy.
So I'm working on overlooking how far my technique is below where I wish it were, to avoid focusing on the problems, the hiccups, the passages that don't flow, and finding the joy in the process and in the imperfections.
And the other pianists? They're amazing and smart and fun and beautiful and I can't wait to hear them next month.