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All my piano students are excited right now because we are planning a concert. I do not want to call it a recital because that sounds too much like a judged event with pressure and pain, just like all those piano recitals of my youth. Someone from the guild was always there and you had to dress fancy and curtsey and otherwise behave abnormally.

Those childhood recitals really turned me off to the whole idea of playing music for other people because there was an inherent threat in them. You might get it wrong and disappoint or embarrass someone, like your parents, or your teacher.

My concert will be as free of stress as possible. We will put names in a hat at the start of the program, including parents and siblings and anyone who wants to play. So I know already there is one mother-daughter team working on Heart and Soul. Former students of mine, siblings of my present kids, will be there and if it is anything like last time, they will fight the younger kids for their chance to show what they can do. We draw names from the hat and if you want to play something when your name comes up you can and if you do not you may pass. Dads got in on it last time and plunked out a Mary Had a Little Lamb to everyone’s delight.

The idea is to celebrate music and that it can  bring us together.I want my living room, full of kids and parents, to be a happy place where we showcase our ability to connect through music.