Even concert pianists will tell you that there are no perfect performances; however, I have persisted in the faulty expectation that I should be able to play an accompaniment without a mistake. After all, people are listening to the choir, not to me.
This morning I played for the choir as they sang, “The King of Love, My Shepherd Is.” My friend, Martha, and her daughter, Eden, played the flute duet to embellish the accompaniment. We had practiced and were prepared for the meeting’s performance. I wasn’t feeling nervous and the piece was not particularly difficult musically. The choir was well-trained and sounded amazing.
I should know from previous experience that when things seem easy I have to concentrate even harder to stay in the moment. It’s important to me to be listening as I play, to try to make each note as beautiful as I can. Sometimes, when things are going well, I make the mistake of allowing the thought (“Hey this is sounding pretty good!”) to take me away from the moment as I reflect on moments past.
I got so close to the very best I can do today. The flutes and I were playing as one. The phrases rose and fell together. The choir was giving everything they had, and it was beautiful. But then, that thought came again and suddenly I turned two pages instead of one. That’s the worst feeling – not knowing how much fumbling will be required to get back on track. I think is was only a few notes, but my heart sank and humbly, I played the last page.
There are no perfect performances.
I’m thinking now that it’s the same in writing. There are no writing pieces that can’t be revised.