Twice a year, my piano teacher would have us learn a piece to perform in a recital. My preparation for these recitals varied. Sometimes I could have played the song with my eyes closed. Sometimes I was not so prepared.
For one recital I learned “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Well. I say “learned,” but I don’t think it’s the right word. I didn’t practice as much as I should have. The day the recital came, I still had a difficult section at the end—five measures—that I couldn’t get through. I hadn’t practiced it because I felt it was too hard. And now it was too late. Right before I was supposed to play—I mean right before, like on my way to the piano when it was my turn—I asked my teacher if I could just play the final note and skip that part that I didn’t learn. Continue reading