(Text, more or less):
It has been about ten years since I gave a recital.
When I gave recitals in college and grad school, I:
- Practiced three to four hours a day
- Had my own dedicated practice room, with no internet connection
- Practiced first thing in the morning before class.
- Practiced after class until ensemble time.
- Practiced in the afternoon until more ensemble time.
- Practiced after dinner.
- Practiced in hallways where best friends would often be doing the same thing across the way, motivating each other.
Oh right. And I had no kids.
It is a very different experience to give a recital these days.
What practice I have had has been “accompanied” by:
- A plastic snake
- Lego cupcakes
- The Penguin and Joker under my feet
- And a water flute.
Among other things.
But although everything is a little—okay, a lot–less polished and a little more haphazard, I am not complaining. After all, when I was preparing recitals in college and grad school, I:
- Weighed ten pounds more than I do now.
- Was in a constant battle with tendinitis and carpal tunnel
- Didn’t know what I was really going to do with this degree I was earning. If anything.
- Was sleeping on a dormitory bed whose legs were so uneven that I had to stick books under them to even it out
- in apartments with walls so thin, the alarm clock next door woke me up every morning…
- …or, in apartments made of cinderblock without insulation, next to a major intersection
- Had no car
- Had never been published.
It’s a give and take. Whatever you gain as life goes on comes at the price of something else, and what you lose usually opens the door to new possibilities, too. So I’m satisfied to be standing here today to share this music with you.