I’m incredibly proud of daughter number 1 today 🙂 A couple of weeks ago her cello teacher asked her if she’d like to play in the end of term concert that the county music centre organise; Fran chose a very simple, but quite fun, piece to play as a solo. It was just 4 lines long but she worked really hard at getting it note perfect; she has put in her 30 minutes practise every single day at it without fail.
Tonight was the concert, a really fab mixture of proficient, beginner, young, old, big band, string orchestras, choirs, teeny wee boys playing brilliant recorder parts and 10 year old conductors. Maddy, Fran and i sat together for the first half and i kept asking her if she was nervous, but she didn’t seem to be. Then after the interval my mum arrived in the nick of time and Fran went off to sit with the performers. Was very odd to see her sat there, looking completely relaxed, totally at ease in the environment and NOT SMALL!!!!! She was the same size as everyone else!! Lol!
Her turn came and she just strolled on to the stage, sat down and played it perfectly, not a finger or note wrong, not even a slightly off note. She looked just completely at home, not even slightly phased and got a huge round of applause at the end. Then her teacher stood up and said that she’d only had 8 lessons and she got another one 🙂 My mum howled (i didn’t, if my mum cries, i don’t, it’s known as the “Anne Frank’s House Museum Effect”)
Fran’s a funny little thing; she doesn’t naturally push herself forward or make herself centre of attention exactly and she’s perfectly capable of being overshadowed by her sisters in some things but she has an astonishing confidence when she’s performing on her own, she just seems utterly confident that a stage is meant to hold her. I recognise it totally from my drama days and she just has the knack of standing up and being a presence; it is a totally different thing to “tits and teeth and look at me” type showiness and oddly enough in a group she tends to hold back, but tonight i could really see her learning to enjoy that solo experience, whether music, dancing or whatever.
Before she went on i told her to remember that if you have to stand on a stage on your own, you can look at it two ways; either you shrink into the smallest corner of the space, or you decide that the stage is just about big enough to hold you – and she managed the second. But more than that, she had an experience of working hard, enjoying the work, enjoying the pleasure of being good (even in a small and new way) and loving the moment. We talked before about simply enjoying it, not minding if it went wrong because everyone there wanted her to just have a blast at it and no one would be critical and she seemed to have absorbed the ethos of that and built her own special moment out of it.
I was incredibly proud of her achievement, after 8 lessons to even play for 2 minutes in front of 200 people is a big deal, but even more than that, i was just delighted to see her take such pleasure in the moment – it was great.