I've been having student recitals for going on two decades and I swear I've never been as nervous as I am about tonight, even though tonight's should be for me hundreds of percents easier than any recital I've ever had.
For years our piano recitals, held three times a year, have taken place in a large church auditorium,
The food was a good thing. It took the kids minds off their performance nerves.
But of course, the recitals, fun as they always were, were also a ton of work. There were chairs to be set up and taken down afterwards, the piano, too had to be moved before and after,
Eh, maybe. But I didn't know any. And though, I truth, I threw these labor intensive shindigs because, well, I liked to, I often wondered why other teachers I knew always got so stressed-out over their student recitals when all they had to worry about was their students' performances. Though I hardly knew from experience, I was convinced that putting together a student recital that didn't involve simultaneously putting together a gargantuan spread afterwards had to be a worry-free breeze, or at least it would be for me.
Or so I thought.
Last year it came to pass that I knew the time had come to seek out another location for our recitals, so I turned to the venue most used by Columbus piano teachers for students' performances, the recital hall at the Graves Piano and Organ store,
However to my pleasant surprise my students' initial disappointment over the demise of their post-recital parties turned to excitement when they arrived for their dress rehearsal, took in the beautiful surroundings and tried out the Steinway, a touch-friendly instrument which they all loved playing,
I have nothing to do between now and tonight.
And I'm a bundle of fluttery nerves. Maybe two or three bundles, even.
In fact, it's not even as if I've never before had students perform at Graves.
Back in 1999 I had a student recital there, except that it wasn't really my show.
But I think I figured it out when it hit me that there is now a big empty space in my brain that used to be filled to capacity on recital day with thoughts about tables, chairs, lighting, pizzas, soda, cup cakes, veggies and dip, cups, plates, eating utensils, serving utensils, and other logistical details too numerous to mention. I think that, nature abhorring a vacuum, a passel of stress and free-floating anxiety has moved into my brain to fill up the space that used to be filled with a big to-do list. I was too busy to worry much.
Now I've got all day.