Monday, April 4, 2011

The Minuet

The thing about performance, even if it's only an illusion, is that it is a celebration of the fact that we do contain within ourselves infinite possibilities. ~Sydney Smith

The distance and traffic on Friday nights have always made it quite impractical for my Princess to be able to practice with other children on the musical portion of the spring recitals, so Miss Trudy tries to have her do something special like reciting a poem. The first time she did this, she simply recited the lyrics of song she was about to play. This time she recited a poem that enhanced the theme of the program.

Because of how the poem was written, I could see it would not do as a simple recitation, but needed to be acted out and so this was a first for the Princess and she did it quite well. (As I look at this picture below, I cannot help thinking, "Who is this graceful young lady? Wasn't she just a cute four-year-old just beginning piano lessons a month or so ago?")

"Modern ways are quite alarming..."

The Minuet
by Mary Mapes Dodge

Grandma told me all about it,
Told me so I could not doubt it,
How she danced -my grandma danced! -- Long ago.
How she held her pretty head,
How her dainty skirt she spread,
How she slowly leaned and rose -- Long ago.

Grandma's hair was bright and sunny;
Dimpled cheeks, too, -oh, how funny!
Really quite a pretty girl, -- Long ago.
Bless her! why, she wears a cap,
Grandma does, and takes a nap
Every single day; and yet
Grandma dance the minuet -- Long ago.

"Modern ways are quite alarming,"
Grandma says; "but boys were charming"
(Girls and boys, she means, of course)-- "Long ago."
Brave but modest, grandly shy-
She would like to have us try
Just to feel like those who met
In the graceful minuet -- Long ago.

Later she played "Polonaise, BWN Anhang 119" by J.S. Bach of the Baroque Period and "A Little Flower" by Cornelius Gurlitt of the Romance Period. These were the same pieces she played in February for the judging: Judging the Princess.

In this video is of the Polonaise only because the Princess had her first truly big mess up. I suppose it was bound to happen eventually, after all she has been taking lessons and performing for six years this May. On the video, she did have a small hiccup during the Polonaise, but that was hardly anything. The second piece did not get recorded. She had it well memorized but she did not position her hands correctly when she tried to begin it. Of course, Miss Trudy could not remember her piece with about forty children playing one to three songs each and asked the Princess from backstage if she had brought her music, to which she answered "no."

However, I had already realized this was not a small glitch from which she was going to recover on her own when I saw her hands shaking, so I thanked the Lord that I had taken some Valerian before we came so I would not be nervous for her and walked to the stage to hand the music to her. She kept her poise while looking a bit relieved, but she still just could not get her hands positioned correctly until Miss Trudy came out and showed her and then...after what seemed like painful minutes of holding my breath, the Princess began playing the piece as if she had just sat down to play it as I knew she could and never had any problem at all.

She was complimented on how well she did the poem and her playing and some people made a point to compliment her on how well she recovered. I thought she might be upset this time after the performance, but she was just fine. My Princess is a performer.

~ My Lord, thank you for my daughter's gift for piano, poise, and her ability to recover from mistakes. I am often surprised by her talents and enjoy them very much. Please continue to guide her in improving herself and giving the glory to You. ~


  1. I'm so pleased you posted a vid. I love watching the Princess play! ♥ Learning to recover from disaster is so important. Kudos to her. She looks lovely too, very poised. Any sort of music is great for kids posture. They all seem to hold themselves so well after they've been doing it for a while. ☺

  2. Oooohhh... can't wait to watch the video! The baby is sleeping just now, so I daren't watch it until later, but I am looking forward to it;-}

  3. Well done Princess!

    Linda, she did so well... I was rather impressed☺

  4. Thank you, Ganieda and Diane! When she is feeling up to it, I will have her read these comments for herself.

  5. What a beautiful piece! She played so well, so hard to believe how young she is, she sits so lady like at the piano and if I did not know her true age I would be certain she was much older! Such a little lady.


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