My former student Nick is a talented actor. He performed in several plays growing up, and he knows how to improvise his way through onstage catastrophes such as missed lines, malfunctioning props and wardrobe, and unexpected disasters.
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.