December 26, 2012 at 4:50 PMIt wasn't really the sort of gift I was expecting.
I began this Christmas season full of excitement to once again play the old standards at church and for retirement audiences. I was pleased that the performances had some proximity to the tone and nuances I was able to craft in practice. A bit of a nervous player, I find myself obsessing over the details of lighting, sweaty palms, amount of rosin on the bow--the list is endless. The capstone of the season for me was to be a solo for the candlelight service at church. For the first two verses all went well, then came the shift to 3rd position on the E string. I missed the plant of my anchor finger leaving the last 16 notes of the song horribly out of tune.
I would have been devasted by that showing just a few months ago. However, having had a few good events under my belt, I am confident that it was an anomaly. Sure, I wish I had those 16 notes back. But listening to the recording objectively, it highlights the areas I need to work on and ways I can avoid the same from occurring again. I heard no audible "gasps" or cries from the audience to rush me with stones for my error.
I will go on from this. I will practice. I will improve. I will play for the sake of the music again this week--even if it is for God's ears alone. It is a gift to be able to play. It is a gift to play on despite the effort and focus required. The wood will sing this new year with its sweatest song yet. It isn't the gift I was expecting year, but am thankful for it.
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