Yesterday was my daughter's Christmas piano recital. Her teacher has 38 students from primary-aged children all the way up to high school. We had the recital in a lovely piano studio with great acoustics and balcony seating, so it was quite the event.
This year, the teacher, with the spirit of Christmas giving in mind, decided to make the recital a fund-raiser for a local animal shelter.
All fall the students were hard at work composing music and lyrics for their own songs, inspired by their favorite animals, so the fund-raiser for the shelter was a perfect fit. All songs were illustrated by each student as well. The teacher compiled a book to take home so all the kids could learn each others songs if they wished.
So this year, the Christmas recital had no Christmas songs. Instead, we were part of a world premier of local talent.
It was remarkable!
These kids, some tiny, some only as old as high school. Composing their own pieces. Performing in front of 50-60 people. The confidence they possessed. And the guts when they didn't!
I try so hard not to under-estimate children. I try not to impose my limitations on their abilities. I try so hard not to ask for the details and just let it happen and see where it goes. Most times I need to try harder.
I always say that "kids are just short human beings". They have all the emotions and talents that we have, they just haven't had the opportunities to experience or develop them yet.
The piano teacher gets it. She knows what these kids can do, encourages it and expects it. Expectations can be very good things. I am learning that.
Yesterday, I was so impressed. With my own child and with every other child there.
It's amazing what people can do when they are given a chance and some support - even when they are short.