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16 Christmas Notes-- a Year Later

Aaron Smith

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Published: December 26, 2013 at 9:17 PM [UTC]

Just like last year, the faces within the church were drapped with candlelight Christmas Eve. Waiting back stage for my part in the program, I thought about last year. A year ago, things were cruising along through the solo when I missplaced my anchor finger for my trip to 3rd position on the E string. It was the last 16 notes of the piece. Despite the blunder, there were no gasps--no shrieks from the audience. I was disappointed with myself, but all the consequences I feared from a bad performance never came. Folks still spoke to me afterward. Apparently, it was a bigger deal to me than it was to them. Still, I have relived those notes over and over again. I think it's made me a better player this year, making me work just that much harder.

This year was different. While the song was not perfect, it did have all the "daring" elements I planned. There were no glaring flaws. The audience seemed to enjoy it. Still, I have more to work on this year to ensure that next year is even better. This year gave me time to reflect, added some perspective, and come away with a smidgeon more confidence to share the magic, that is music, with others. I had worried last year that I would throw the world into an awkward wobble because of my mistake. The worst didn't happen. The sun came up the next day. The practice room beckened. I've lived to tell the tale and play another day.

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