Key moments in life come and go; sometimes you’ll know when you’re in the moment and sometimes reflection deems a memory important. Yesterday, I spent a little over 2 hours playing what I’d been working on the whole summer: a ten-piece piano program that consisted of 64 pages of memorized music and various technique requirements.
I have participated in this same ten-piece program every summer since I started piano (with less intensive requirements though, of course), but it’s a bit of a shock to look back and see how much has been snowballing over the years. Who knew that the me that struggled with memorizing a 6-page sonata movement would be able to memorize a 21-page full sonata or that the me that used to scoff at practice would be able to buckle down for a weekend and memorize a piece?
This last summer performance of my high school years was fittingly a little strange. Sure, there’s still a judge, ten pieces and a grand piano, but the small conversations about the composers made the difference. I wasn’t just playing pieces for a judge to hear; I was sharing my interpretation of a piece of music and receiving critique from a judge. It’s hard to put in words, but the fact that the judge took time and shared little tid-bits about the composer reminded me that the composers were living people. It’s easy to put them on a pedestal, but they were human too. They had their own hardships and joys, which would come to shape their music, which we appreciate today.
With yesterday in the past, I feel as if I have parted with an old friend. I feel a little blue, but life’s like that. There will be things I’ll forget or regret and drive back for and things that gather like dust, slowly until I suddenly notice one day. There will be times that I have to take a rest-stop and pull over at the next exit. However, a rest is only temporary and soon enough, I’ll begin again. The end of one road is the start of another.