one of the things i really, really like about mrs. mcbee is that she accepts each student as they are and works with them to be the best that they can be. she's encouraging, not scolding, and started off the recital by explaining and singing a song to all of us, parents and other family members included, about making mistakes - everyone makes them, and it's no reason to feel down about yourself and no reason for criticism - just start over or keep moving ahead. it's so very clear to me that the lessons mrs. mcbee teaches extend above and beyond technique; poise, presentation, and music appreciation are also included.
mrs. mcbee also provides an opportunity for each of her students to shine in their own way. among the performances were duets, violin and cello accompaniment, and singing. there was humor and acceptance and some particularly breathtaking moments.
as was permitted last year, diana performed a piece of her own composition. this one is titled "darke domaine" and was inspired by reading the septimus heap series by angie sage. i've been privy to the development and editing and explanation and rehearsals of this piece, which takes on a slight variation in each performance. i thought today's rendition was among her best.
i was not the only one impressed - several parents, even ones i did not know, came up to congratulate diana or comment to me about her. though a bit uncomfortable with such praise, diana acknowledged it gracefully and afterwards expressed her relief that the recital was past. it is exhilarating for her to play, and she puts her whole self into it, the intense concentration leaving her spent by the time the last chord fades away.
diana really does love playing her music. you can see it in her movements, her posture, her face, her smile. it is one of pure joy.
for those interested in videos of her performance, you may enjoy them here.