Friday, March 23, 2007

Ode to Joy

Gueli had his third recital last Saturday. It was nice seeing the same faces again - Ems his piano teacher, Marion the directress of his old pre-school, the familiar moms and dads, and of course the recitalists. It's become a small community that meets on a yearly basis. We all know each other - some by face, some by name, some by face and name. And it's great to see how much the kids have grown - how much taller, prettier, or better at singing or playing the piano.

There were a lot of new gimmicks for this year's recital. Unbeknownst to us parents, Teacher Ems had the kids videotaped during their lessons. She had each child address his or her parents on cam, thanking the parents for letting them take lessons, and dedicating their recital pieces to them.

Call me a sucker but it was very touching. I've always been glad that Miguel and I stuck it out with Teacher Em's piano lessons. In the beginning we had problems about late or cancelled lessons, and there was a time when I considered looking for a new teacher, but my mom advised that I let Miguel continue because she saw that he enjoyed it.

Then, when Miguel had his first recital, that's where I saw Teacher Em's passion for teaching kids, and I really admired that. You don't find a lot of that these days. In the years that followed the lessons became more regular, and Miguel has really become adept at piano. Sometimes he'd mix together 2 pieces that sound alike, or play the same piece on a higher octave or on a different scale. As Teacher Ems said, he has good musical ears.

And he does practice every day.

Oh by the way: another gimmick Ems had for this year was a competition. Aside from their recital pieces, each child had to play a competition piece. For Miguel's level, it was "Ode to Joy." Miguel knows it by heart and can play it with his eyes closed. I knew it would be a cinch for him, but I just reminded him to play the chorus from piano to forte, repeat the chorus, and do his best. He knows that it's my favorite piece too.

And well what d'you know...he came away with the gold medal! Teacher Ems reminded the kids that it wasn't a serious competition, and it wasn't. But of course we were all proud - me, mom and Mike. Miguel said he didn't think he would win, and that if he didn't, he wouldn't cry. Mom said that after hearing everyone play, she was sure that he would get at least silver.

Me? I just had a feeling he was going to win something. He didn't miss a single note. He remembered to play from piano to forte. And he remembered to repeat the chorus.


It was just such a good day :)

(Miguel asked me later on what she meant that the competition wasn't serious. After a bit of thought, I said that if there was a big prize involved it would be serious. Har har!)