Things appeared to progress well with my piano lessons at that time.My weakly lesson was the highlight of my week,and Ann was pleased wth me.As was the culture of the villages at that time,they all held yearly music competitions,with my village of Indian Queens being no exception.
My mother was asked if I would be willing to enter a piano playing class at this particular festival.Looking back,I don’t think that I was given much of a choice as my teacher thought that it would be a good idea.My only experience with music competitions was singing in Church Choral groups,so I was completely new to the concept of playing a solo in public.However,I was given quite a lot of extra tuition from Ann to prepare for this,and when the day of the competition arrived I stepped up to compete in my class,which was the under 10,piano class.As all the details now are a little sketchy,my recollections of the day are at variance with my sisters.According to them there were at least 35 children in the class,where I thought that it was more like 15-sibling pride here I think-and played near the end of the class.Memeories of the pieces that I played were that they were very rudimentary,and that it seemed all over in a few short minutes.When I had finished playing,I was quite surprised by the applause and I was scolded for not taking a bow after.As I sat in my seat,waiting for the result,I was completely floored when they read out that I had won the class with the highest mark ever recorded ever in that particular festival.
Looking back,from then on,in my little community,I was forever invited to play in various concerts and get tog thers around the village and surrounding ones.As the years have gone on,and after hundreds of competitions-some good,some bad-I don’t think that I have ever got a mark as high as that for anything in music.So at the age of 9,I peaked.!!
Many people have often said that when I play that I give people so much pleasure.Now,at the age of 58,I can truly say that I find that extremely humbling.However,as life has served up for me,and for anyone who feels that they want to read by daily posts,a mixed bag of pluses and minuses,having given pleasure to people is a wonderful privilege.
Nowadays,I get my ultimate pleasure from helping my family,pupils,and friends to reach their potential.Being a fervent believer in the good in people,I always try to go the extra mile for my pupils because they are willing to put up with my obsessional words abut music,when they often have to carve out their way through a whole host of other subjects that I have only scratched the surface of.My admiration for them is profound.In over 35 years of teaching,they have kept me with a younger attitude to life,and I don’t regret a minute that I have spent with any of them.
Thanks for taking time out from your busy lives to read this blog post.