I played a piano solo on Sunday. It was David Glen Hatch's arrangement of "Praise To The Man". It made sense, seeing as Sac. Mtng. was on the Prophet Joseph Smith. Anyway, they asked me if I would play right when we moved back, since my reputation as a pianist precedes me. Or they just remembered, since I lived in this ward for over 5 years (go figure!). Anyway, I was surprised and completely taken off guard at my nervousness. I was so very nervous. Never mind I had played this song since I was 15. Never mind that I'd played in this ward for years and years in many different ways (accompanist, organist, etc.). I couldn't stop shaking as I played. And although I only missed one note, I could not, for the life of me, feel the Spirit. The interpretation was not what I wanted, and I felt lousy. Most people told me they enjoyed it and thanked me, and I was polite in response --but I still felt....lousy. That's really the best term. I'm trying to figure out why I didn't feel strong about it. I practiced. I prayed. But what's even weirder? The same thing happened back in California. I played John Longhurst's arrangement of "I Believe In Christ" in our Sacrament Meeting Easter program. I know I mentioned it in my Easter post here. But I didn't mention how awful I felt about it. Nervous as could be! Shaking hands! Nerves, nerves, nerves.
The only thing I can think of is this: First, I'm older and less likely to think I know everything. Confidence has wained just a tad. Second, I don't get to practice and play as much as I did in the past (think 'before kids'). And had to perform for a grade. And compete. Teaching piano lessons does not keep my skills sharp --oh, the knowledge, yes! But not the skills. I need to practice to keep those.
Anyway, that was my current musical experience.
Tuesday night was a ward activity. The youth in our ward put on a talent show for everyone in the ward to see. We have about 40-50 youth in our ward, and so it was an amazing night! Music, comedy, skits, dance, videos, etc. made for a lot of fun. As we watched the show, a thought struck me --these kids grew up before my eyes. I knew all of them (except a handful that had moved in while we were gone) and had a connection to most of them. All those Teachers (14-15 year old boys) about to be Priests (16-17 year old boys)? They were in my Bear Den when I was a Cub Scout Den Leader. That would make them 9 years old. Those seniors graduating? I knew them as primary kids. Eight or Nine of them had been former piano students. Most of the young men Brandon had served while he was the Deacon's counselor (12-13 year old boys). Several young women had babysat for me over the years.
It made me feel a couple of things: First (don't you love how I always speak in numerical order? I'm nothing if I'm not organized...) --I feel old. I am almost 30, and these kids see me as "old". And in reality, I'm not even 30! I'm not close to old at all! But I felt old. Two--I want my kids to grow up with good friends, in a good ward, without having to move frequently. Growing up with the same people provides such stability, friendship, and loyalty. At least it did for me. These kids in our ward have that --I want my kids to have that, too.
Brandon has been working a lot. It's a new job; he has projects. The commute is a tad further than the one he had in CA (ironic, eh?), and we're both busy with other things (i.e. he's playing in his work's softball league, we have WW meetings, etc.). I miss him. Not enough to iron all his shirts, but I still miss him.
- The loyalty to Paula was very admirable. I'm proud of the producers for issuing that statement in her behalf.
- I liked the commercial. But I always like the commercials/videos. Most of you hate them. That's okay with me.
- Simon's first kiss calling in was crazy! I couldn't believe it! But I loved every second of that exchange. How cool was that?!
- I Heart Neil Diamond. I just love his voice. The song was okay --the back-up singers were just down-right scary. What kind of dancing were they doing?! And they were even doing it on the the slow part!? And the brass players dancing too? That was just weird. But hooray! Neil Diamond sang. His voice just makes me feel all comfy inside.
- Holy Emotional Breakdown, Brooke! But it was bound to happen, I guess. I'm just glad she went out on a high note --meaning that she sang well last night, and was the good Brooke. I liked how she admitted in her farewell video that her confidence was a difficult step for her; it made sense. Brandon read somewhere that Brooke was a nervous breakdown just waiting to happen. Can you imagine if she had won the thing? She probably would have gone over the edge. I'm proud of her for all she's done, but glad her pain is now over. Perhaps she can make that awesome Carole King-esque album that I would love to buy...(after the Idol tour, and all the other stuff she has to do via Idol contract, of course. Stupid contracts!).
- I find it ironic that out of the five people I loved the most (and predicted would be the final five), Four of them actually were. If I could have replaced Syesha with Michael Johns, then my predictions would have been spot on. That makes me feel good, because in years past, my predictions were way off.
- I'm just loving this whole off-the-fly type interviewing, etc. It's so cool to see the judges and the contestants in such vulnerable form.
- Remember my reaction to Leona Lewis last week? Well, count me in as dumb again because I didn't know who Natasha Bedingfield was...doh! And you know what? I actually liked her style of music/performing better than Leona Lewis. Her voice wasn't as incredible, but it was...what's the word?...it was...tangible. That's the only word I can think of right now (even if it doesn't make any sense). She's a good performer, that one. And when she went over to give David A. a hug and kiss? Too funny! He was blushing...
- These guest judges and performers are dang lucky to get on Idol. In the first few years, I think it was hard to get such musicians to come on the show, but I'm betting that now, they all realize how stupid it would be not to get on the show. Talk about crazy advertising!
What did you think?