"The Master Class" review

March 23, 2012
A girl, the author, performs a flute solo in front of a bunch of people. She gets cut off, not playing the piece like she wanted to, cracking under the pressure. She is completely devastated and storms out as soon as she can. Afterwards, she goes to Starbucks and gets a short white chocolate mocha sans.
A person may rehearse for hours upon hours for a solo or recital, but when it comes time to perform, it’s just the instrument and the performer. I know from experience. When I practice at home, it’s not such a big deal when I make a mistake because only my parents and my cats heard me. Even at lessons it’s okay because he’s heard me fumble hundreds of times. But at the performance, it’s the judge’s first impression of me. I need to show him what kind of pianist I really am. I can sit at the piano until my wrists hurt and my eyes are straining to see each individual note, but the judge doesn’t know that. It only matters how the piece is played at that specific moment. Pressure gets to everybody; some just handle it better than others. If any mistakes are made, that person will beat himself up about it because he knows he can play better than that. The judge doesn’t hear someone’s best unless that’s how he plays it that day. When one is finished with their performance, he realizes that he has spent months and months preparing for a performance that has been five minutes long.

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