They miss notes.
All of them do. I don't think there was a single perfect performance, but every song was magnificent.
Reminder: I don't have to be perfect to be magnificent.
They get lost.
One young man who was playing a very intricate piece got lost and sat there for a few silent seconds, hands hovering above the keys. You could sense the wheels turning in his mind. He didn't panic or start berating himself. He found his place and jumped right back in where he left off. By the end, it was like he'd never paused.
Reminder: It is OK if I get lost. Don't berate myself. Just start right back up.
After every performance, each child stands up from the piano bench and takes a bow. There was something really special about that. No matter how the performance went, each child took a moment to be proud of what they had done.
Reminder: I can be proud of the work I put in. I don't have to compare to others, score higher than someone else, or be without mistakes. I can celebrate my victories and accomplishments.
They get in the picture.
After the performances, all 12 kids lined up for a group photo and boy, do they smile! No one runs to the back to hide. No one stands there melting down because they aren't good enough to be photographed. They smiled so big, their little cheeks were sore after all the cameras were done.
Reminder: Get in the picture and smile, just the way I am.
They move on.
Walking out to the car, there wasn't a play by play of every note and how it went. No dissection of mistakes. No regret of song choice. There were too many other exciting things to talk about. An upcoming birthday party, Christmas Eve family get-together, Aunt Sue day, and over two weeks off school!
Reminder: Don't dwell on any experience. Enjoy it. Be present in that moment. But when it is over, move forward.
There are many other songs to play. Bows to take. Pictures to be in. Don't miss the next experience by staying stuck in the last one. It's time to pick a new song and get practicing!