Tender flower piano

Another year of piano lessons – another end of year recital. Remembering the trouble we had last year, we were determined not to get lost, arrive late, or get completely soaked by rain.

So we drove there, carefully following the google map instructions. Which took us… to a weird rich people’s health clinic in a forest. Great. The place must be nearby, so we parked and started circling the area on foot, looking for the “farmhouse” that had been booked out for the event. We managed to find a farm with no one at it. That wasn’t it.

So we started trudging down a dirt road in hopes it would end at some kind of piano recital place. Luckily the teacher drove past us and explained it was further down the road, and we should just “go until we see the balloons and some goats”.

I ran back to get the car, and we drove on. Sure enough, we saw the balloons, followed them into a farm, where there were indeed some goats. It was a concert miracle, we had arrived with plenty of time and without getting wet! The piano was housed on the second floor above an old barn, looking out over the fields and gardens. It was perfectly charming. Other than the flies filling the sweltering room, and the goat bells ringing outside throughout the concert.

But our little pianist did a lovely version of “Tender Flower”, and the whole event lasted only about an hour, which is a godsend as any of you attending kids’ concerts should know. Looking forward to next year…

Epic Piano Recital

J has been taking piano lessons this year, and today was the end of year concert. We’ve been looking forward to it for quite a while – the teacher really talked it up: a ‘musical moment’ afternoon in a lovely heritage building, followed by tea and scones in the garden overlooking Lake Geneva.

She has been practicing this little song for weeks… many looong weeks. It’s a jumpy little tune called ‘The Porcupine Dance’, which sounds really cute but is actually an unholy atonal Picasso-as-music kind of sound. Anyway apparently it was part of a theme of animal songs so we were stuck with it. The afternoon rolled around and it was time to go. It was warm and sunny and we thought it would be a good idea to walk to the venue because it was pretty close to us, and there’s really not a lot of parking downtown where we were going. This is where it all went terribly wrong.

Let me give you the step by step list of how not to do a piano recital:

1. Don’t ask your son to put on his shoes with only a few minutes before you need to leave. He needs at least 10 full minutes to agonizingly put on his socks and unsuccessfully tie his shoes. And he will then make you all late by walking 100 meters behind you the whole way there no matter how slow you walk.

2. Don’t take your daughter walking when she is suffering from a mystery “stomach pain that hurts really bad”. She will spend the whole 2 km crying and whining.

3. Don’t let your daughter fall and scrape her knee “really bad” just after she’s finally stopped crying about the mystery pain. She will shriek for the next 15 minutes and blood will pour down her knee because you don’t have any bandages and she won’t let you use random vegetation from the side of the road to stop the bleeding.

4. Don’t get lost trying to find the venue. It is not the several private residences you tried first before finding the real place by chance with minutes to spare.

5. Don’t bring only one tiny purse umbrella for four family members. It will inexplicably POUR, and your son will be soaked and smell unbearably like wet dog through the whole event, luckily you sat beside the window.

But, we made it. Barely. J played beautifully, we scarfed some scones, and got out of there as fast as humanly possible.

Looking forward to next year’s concert already!

And the finale – here is her atonal masterpiece: ‘The Porcupine Dance’