Yup, May and June are here. I feel your stress levels rising as we gain momentum toward the end of the year events. You're wound up. May I offer just a moment of deep breathing to you in the form of this letter? Breathing is so important, don't you agree?
Some of you have this idea that the month of May is all about tests. In school, it tends to culminate that way. Some of the music things you are involved in are even called "exams" "auditions", or "juries". This is what they are called, because the world labels things in terms it can understand. I would like to suggest that this is a PM, a performance moment. Yes, you will "pass" or get letter-type grades, you will receive comments in line with the essays you write in school. But this is not a test, repeat, these are not tests.
The person or people in your listening audience are on your side; they are part of your team. They are not your enemy or your adversary. A few may have lost sight of this, sadly. But it is true, nonetheless. This is not a sporting event; the judge is not your rival. You're in the same band, the same brotherhood, on the same mission. Excellent critical listeners realize this; they will be truthful about areas that didn't suit them musically, and encourage you to move to the next level of artistry. They want what you want, to find the utmost beauty and passion in the musical art of sound.
Let's get real. I'm not painting fluffy, la, la, you're wonderful, unicorns and butterflies here. I'm not saying you don't have to work hard. It will be daunting, exhausting, and trying. You may not perform the way you know you can. But wow, to put yourself out there, to face it and walk through it is to have learned something new.
Please let your music shine for them. And just in case you think you can, I want to say out loud that you can't please them. You must please yourself. Touch your own heart, make your own feet want to dance, and your own soul smile. This is the ultimate best prize; and one that surpasses a grade. I've heard moments of this in you and I was inspired. Listen. Hear me cheering for you? Really listen, the very world is a buzz in applause.
Are you breathing better now? Uh huh. Me too.
From one of your biggest fans,
PS: Will you do one more thing for me? Remember that your teachers in school want you to succeed too.
Copyright 2010, Wolf Piano Studio