Some people get very nervous when they perform. I'm one of them. My hands usually sweat a little, and often shake. My stomach churns. Two hours before the performance, I start asking myself why the heck I ever decided to play publicly, especially for all my students and their parents.
Listening House Studios believes in teaching a wide variety of music and music techniques. In November and December, for example, I concentrate on playing lead sheets. Our students learn to read a melody line written as notes, with their right hands, and play chords from chord symbols with their left hands. Eric focuses on this throughout the year.
Years ago, a friend told us a true story about a young woman (I’ll call her Ann) who student-taught music in a tiny, rural school in northeast Missouri. Ann wanted to expose the children to classical music, so one day she passed out a list of the great composers to a high school class and asked students to check the ones whose names they recognized.
After graduating, I moved on to a demanding college piano professor, an Austrian-born perfectionist who played professionally with a symphony and A string trio. She had little sympathy for my sloppy training. Ms. Suppan demanded that I work on pieces until they met her high standards. This new music was then added to my ongoing repertoire, which she expected me to be able to play up to snuff whenever she asked for it.