Thursday, January 30, 2014

Unexpected Tsunami

Just like that everything changed. Might even earned "bit**" title too. 

Well, I did not plan. As usual I was excited to go to the piano class, but after driving 45 minutes to the class, and in between my daughter frustrated me with her playful behavior while we were waiting for him. I just lost my smile, and as usual might have looked grumpy and unhappy when he arrived. I did not know what to say when he said, "you all might be having lot of comments on the critic sheet."

These are the comments by the judge on my son's performance of Haydn's Sonata in E minor movement 1:

I did not say anything as I did not know whether he wanted kids to comment or was he interested to know my point of view. He reads my face, and diagnoses  my mood pretty well. Whenever some kind of unsaid tension building up in between us, he will turn his face totally towards piano, no jokes, no smiles, just serious teaching without seeing my face or rather avoiding any kind of interaction. Yesterday, the whole class was so serious and totally technique. No fooling around, totally professional, undivided attention to kids and the music, just the way it was supposed to be. 

If he had given me another chance to speak my mind  about the critic sheet - I would have said it was more like a reality check. There were different layers of emotion. First one was a huge smile because of total shockness - here I was expecting a win, a major win - a grand prize. And all I heard was others names been called out.

My son use to wow the crowd. Everybody used to always come up to me and used to say: how many hours of practice he does; he is so amazing; gifted; piano prodigy...blah, blah.Here he is not even in the picture like he did not even play. Ha!

Second, I felt bad for you as they did not turn up to your expectations or the trust you laid on them or for the effort you put in them. And I felt good that you were not there during the award ceremony as it would have been an embarrassment to  face you after the results.

Third, I look like a fool for even talking to you about my grand plans for my kids to play concertos at DSO, when they are not even good enough to win this festival. Yes, this was totally a reality check. How awful it is when you as a parent to be a music illiterate. I couldn't even judge whether they were playing well or not while they were practicing for the competition. The whole time while he was practicing, he sounded good to my illiterate ears; how the hell I was supposed to know that he doesn't know the sense of arrival or not giving shapes to the phrases. I would have not sent him to a competition with full of holes, if I have had musical background.

I even feel bad for taking a sudden decision of allowing him to compete when he did not even had enough time for practice or to master the song, and thereby allowed him to fail.

But whatever happened in one way opened our eyes, and exactly made us know where they stand when they are compared with flawless pianists of same age.

That's what I would have said to him. Now, just like tsunami, my grumpy face wiped off beautifully developing friendship which was slowly filling up with affection. Just this Sunday, we walked side by side in the college hallways while waiting for the competition to take place and discussed about various topics from music to completions to favorite drinks from black coffee to French vanilla drinks. I wanted to say thank you to him for coming and supporting us by being with us the whole time. I wanted to say how special and close we are becoming in just less than five months of knowing each other. 

This is how my son prepared for the competition based on his guidance. My daughter wrote these instructions while watching the recorded version of my son's class as he was busy with school work.

Our last interaction on iMessage:

Good morning!! Thank you for your feedback, and thank you for choosing this piece for my son. Awesome class on Wednesday! You really put your soul into this piece while teaching, hope he justifies your sincere effort. I hear your voice at certain sections of the piece :).
Do we get any instant feedback from the judge? Do we have to write the measure numbers? Are you going to be there? 

This is what he commented on my daughter's help:
"Wow!!! That is terrific!! She is such a helpful little sister!  

I can't tell you the pleasure it is to work with your children!  They take everything in and absorb it, working to apply the principles and skills I seek to share. 

I am planning to be there tomorrow for the performances. It is not always possible to be present for every competition, but I am planning to attend. 
It looks like the measures are already numbered. Just bring the score with you and check in at the appropriate room. The monitor will give you a rating sheet that will be handed back to you at the conclusion of the contest. 
I'm very proud of the hard work and dedication put into this piece!  They both proving to be ready to advance in my estimation. 

My reply to his message: Still in a very happy way amazes me about how you went out of your usual way and agreed to give Pranay the "Invention" for the recital and now in such a short span decided to enter into this contest and took risk of allowing Pranay to play this piece. Well, that says a lot about how quickly you analyze people and change accordingly. Thank you for your time! Have a wonderful day!! See you tomorrow! 
My serious face might have given indication that I blame him for the failure, but that's not the case. I don't understand one thing is why he registered them to this competition when they did not have enough time to prepare.

As usual, whatever God wants. If the music teacher really values my whatever friendship or aquintance, he will try his best for a second chance to develop a beautiful friendship with me, or if he thinks I'm a bit**, then he'll say screw you like how a straight man thinks.

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