The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
December 2017

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

An Increase in Pride. And Anxiety.

We are learning, here in the Preslar Household, that March is a busy month in the world of cello. We have had extra lessons, recitals, practice recitals, practice with an accompanist and a whole lot of practice at home to prepare for all of these things. Lotta cello. The culminating event took place on Saturday; an event up at the UofU in which the kids play two pieces before a group of people, three of whom are judges. The kids get feedback and a rating. It is called Federation, and just hearing that word clangs a gong of anxiety deep in my soul that reverberates with a thirty-year-old echo. Yes, I too participated in Federataion as a child as a pianist. No matter how hard I practiced, no matter how well prepared I was I couldn't stem the stress associated with that day. Getting judged. Every child's dream.

You may have guessed by this point that it is possible that I have carried over just a teeny tiny bit of anxiety onto my children. I swear, I tried not to. My sweet cello-teacher sister tried to help me - I know that at her first mention of the very word "federation" I went a little pale and tight in the mouth. She tried to reassure me that it can be a great experience for the kids and that the cello judges are very sweet. I tried not to let my kids know that deep down I want nothing to do with Federation. I can't tell if I was successful or not - the kids had plenty of nerves of their own.

What I did not expect (but totally should have) was how much more anxious I would be watching my children play than I ever had been when I was dong the playing. I was a wreck: pounding heart, sweaty palms, shortness of breath...yeah, not pretty. But I tried to keep it to myself and let my kids develop their own emotional issues. Check back in thirty years and we'll let you know how that went. But what I really want to say is how proud of my kids I am. When I did Federation I had to go in a room all alone with my judges but the cellists do it a little differently and I was able to watch and listen and my heart was just swollen with love and pride. Perfect performances? No, not perfect. But it was so lovely to see them reach inside themselves to settle and calm themselves, remember what they knew, find their own strength - quite empowering.

Sadly, no cameras were allowed in the Federation performance, but the week before that we had a practice recital with a group of Margaret's students. Here they are:


Sheri said...

Thank you for posting the videos. I love to watch them perform!

Cullen said...

Great post. Forever more, "The Federation" will carry a little bit of a sinister feel. Sorry the anxiety from so long ago is still present.

bella said...

aahhhhh....the cello. you guys are brilliant for doing the cello. way better than listening to a high pitched instrument trying to be perfected. haha!