Of All these years I have been organizing student concerts, this is definitely a very special one. Of course, in my mind and heart, every concert is unique, just as every one of our students at my school is.
Everyone gets nervous before, during and even after they perform on stage; it’s a normal reaction. Who isn’t worried about their own performance? But in order to get more comfortable and be better at it, one must go up that stage over and over again, sometimes even they have performed rather poorly in their last act. It’s the same in life: you get back up again and again after you fall. That’s how you grow and become better and successful in something that matters.
In all these years I have been teaching, building my own studio and school, one thing that is always dear to my heart is, that I inspire my students to believe in themselves, to truly shine as who they are meant to be. Today in one of my lessons, I told a student that she must “own it”, that she must truly believe she was performing in a way she and her audience would enjoy. That’s simply the only way for a pianist to perform on stage: to be completely comfortable in their own skin and show people what they’ve got.
As a woman myself, I want to especially encourage my female students to be confident in themselves and their own playing. Whether they be young or adults, female students have a hard time owing up to what they’ve got and show it. They feel intimidated and are lack of confidence, trying to be “humble” and not “showing off”. That kind of performance sounds however just like the way the performers feel: intimidated and lack of confidence. It’s not a kind of performance an audience would enjoy and can appreciate.
It is a “good” quality for one to be “humble” in traditional Asian culture, and therefore being confident in oneself seems to the others rather arrogant or “too full of herself”. I would like to stress nonetheless that being confident in oneself as a performer is an important quality one must possess. Either you have it or you don’t. And when you don’t, you should simply refrain yourself from going up the stage. If you feel you are lack of skills, then you must go practice more before you go up on that stage. And there you must go back up there again and again.
I hope you all are having a wonderful Chinese new year holiday. May this new year bring you prosperity, harmony and above all, joy.
Much love, many blessings,