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The Recital This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Practicing for my yearly piano recital is a chore that haunts me throughout the year. Even while playing happy ragtime music, dissonant sounds always seem to come from my slightly out-of-tune piano. Not once has the harmony come out as perfectly as when my instructor played it.

Though most recital pieces heard by an audience sound perfect, when I get up to play a never-ending flow of adrenalin goes through my body, my nerves go wild and I think What do you think you're doing!? Trying not to look at the silent audience, I place my music on the rack, sit and position my feet on the pedals and hands on the keys of an unfamiliar piano, preparing to play. As I start, my stomach knots up at every mis-stroke I make. Soon my mind relaxes and seems to flow with the music. As my left hand continues its endless pattern of notes, my right hand flies up and down the keyboard creating an amazingly odd but wonderful sound of incompatible harmony. My eyes shut. No longer am I just playing the music, but I am part of it. I can't describe what I see below my eyelids or what I hear, but it gives me a strange sense of freedom. Even though I am confined to a piano bench, the ebony and ivory keys unlock the door of creativity to my mind.

Every other chord has a mistake in it by now. I don't recognize it, nor do I care to recognize it. The mistakes I make make the sound uniquely my own.

Coming to the end of many staffs of music on the paper, I put as much emotion into the closing of the piece as possible. The audience members applaud as they would any other performer who is not their child. I stand up and walk back to my seat. Of course the music wasn't very complicated or as advanced as I'd like it to be, but I played it, and played it rather well, if I do say so myself. Later I will go home, at least knowing that I have done something worthwhile, of which I can be proud, and possibly entertained a few people as well. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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