When Things Go Wrong

One of the unalterable truths about life is that things do not always go the way we want them to.

This past Friday evening the studio where I teach voice put on a Christmas recital. I sang in it, and some of my students sang. It’s funny how you get more nervous  about your students’ performances than your own. You want them to go so well and be such a good experience for them. This was not.

My first student is such a dear. She reminds me of myself in a lot of ways. Unfortunately I had thoughtlessly placed the microphone in the wrong spot and when she got up to sing she got a huge amount of feedback. It jangled her nerves so badly that she cried later. I was so proud of her for going on with the performance. I don’t know if I would have been so brave at her age.

My second student did fabulously, bless her, but then my third had microphone issues, and could barely be heard.

What do you do when life doesn’t go as planned? How do you help a little person learn to pick up the pieces and go on? Sometimes being a teacher is really hard. Because I’m not just teaching voice. I’m teaching these kids about life, about how to be themselves and be proud of that, and about how to be a better person. And sometimes teachers have to teach things we’re still learning ourselves.

And the World Goes On

Last night I sang my first and only Senior Recital. As a Voice Performance major, this is the capstone of my undergraduate education. I can’t believe it’s over! My song selection was thus:

Vivaldi: In furore iustissimae irae (consisting of 3 arias and a recit)

Faure: 4 Songs, Op. 51 – Larmes, Au Cimetiere, Spleen

Verdi: Addio del passato from La Traviata

Whitacre: 5 Hebrew Love Songs – Temuna, Kala Kalla, Larov, Eyse Sheleg, Rakut

Hoiby: Jabberwocky, always it’s Spring, The Serpent

It went really well. I made mistakes, of course. We always do, but no one in my audience could tell, which is a miracle. My friends described it as fantastic, exquisite, invigorating, wonderfully eclectic, brava.

But the real hero of my recital is not me. It is my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. There were so many things that could have gone wrong. I could have gotten sick (a visitor staying in my room recently had a cold). I could have totally forgotten my music (it’s happened in rehearsal…). And when I made mistakes they could have been big, fat, and ugly (but no one even caught my mistakes). I was really hoping for a good crowd, and lo and behold, God allowed me to have a decent-sized (and very responsive) audience. There are so many other things that God prepared in advance so my recital could go well – my voice teacher, my accompanist, my formal, giving me a voice in the first place. God is so good.