A little over a week ago, on June 8th, my students had the opportunity to perform solo and ensemble works for a very excited and supportive audience. It was a terrific night and it was such a treat to hear everyone play so well.
Because I have so many students, I try to keep things moving along and limit how much I interrupt the playing with interjections on my part. I learned long ago that there is no such thing as a performance that's too short...there is, however, such a thing as a performance that's too long! To me, the night is all about the students, supporting them and helping them shine as much as possible.
It would be very remiss of me, however, not to tell a quick story that I should have shared before my final student, Alec, played. In retrospect I should have told it at the recital, but he was facing the Prelude of Bach's first cello suite and I didn't want to make him nervous!
I've known Alec a long time. I'm not exactly sure how many years? I do, however, remember the first conversation I had with his mom, Aly. I was on vacation with my family down in North Carolina. We have been going down to a small island off the Outer Banks (Emerald Isle) since I was a little guy. We were out to dinner and my phone rang. Aly was inquiring about cello lessons for her son and whether I might have room in my studio and be willing to teach him. We had a nice talk and I told her I would get back to her when I was back to Michigan and could sit down at my computer to find him a lesson time. She asked where I was vacationing and I replied, "A small island off the banks of North Carolina." She got excited and told me that she grew up in NC and her family in fact just got back from Emerald Isle the previous week!
I guess at the end of the day it's a pretty small world we live in and sometimes we bump into each other in interesting, comical ways.
As I write this entry I find myself tearing up a bit because I absolutely hate goodbyes. I don't even like it when a favorite TV show has its final episode. Anyway, I doubt very much that my students know how lucky and privileged I feel to teach them each week. When I have a long relationship with a family it's often bittersweet to see them go. I'm of course very happy for all the new opportunities my student will have, but what can I say...I hate goodbyes.
Best of luck Alec and don't be a stranger.