“Recital to Remember,” Friend, July 1996, 46
I was really nervous the day of the piano recital last year. I don’t know why. The music I had to play was really easy, I had been practicing so much that I think I could have played it backward, blindfolded, or with my feet! Mrs. Tonaka never gives me the hard pieces to learn. Perhaps it’s because my fingers aren’t quite as long as Morgan’s, and I can’t play the chords the way she does.
Morgan always gets the beautiful pieces by famous composers, and she never makes a mistake. The piece she was playing that day was by Mozart. I knew how to play it, sort of. I hadn’t gotten that far in my book, but when I knew Morgan was playing it, I tried to learn it too. I think I could have learned it, if I had had a million years to practice.
When it was Morgan’s turn to play, she sat straight-backed on the piano bench in her new green velvet dress with the satin bow in the back. She told me she always gets a new dress for every recital. Not me. I just wear my Sunday clothes. I guess Morgan gets nervous sometimes, too, because that time she made a mistake. Oh, she didn’t play any notes wrong, she just got kind of stuck. There’s this part in the music where you go back and repeat the beginning again until you get to the second ending. But Morgan kept missing the second ending and going back to the beginning again. She did it four times. It was like she couldn’t stop herself.
I sat closest to the piano, and I could see tears streaming down her cheeks. I felt sorry for her. Someone should do something, I thought. I looked at Mrs. Tonaka, who was sitting in the middle of the audience. She had a worried look on her face, but there wasn’t much she could do.
Finally Morgan came to a part in the music I recognized. I knew that she was coming to the place where she needed to start the second ending. Without even thinking, I went up, sat next to Morgan on the piano bench, and pointed to the place on the music where she should start the second ending. Morgan nodded, and to my relief she finally played the right notes and brought the music to its beautiful finish. I was proud of her. When she was done, she smiled at me. I slipped back into my chair while Morgan stood up and took her bows.
I don’t remember how I did on my recital piece. I probably made some mistakes. I usually do. But it didn’t seem to matter. I was happy just the same.
Some things haven’t changed since that recital last year. Morgan still gets the hard stuff while I struggle along on the easy pieces. And Morgan already has a new blue dress for the recital. But this year we get to do something really exciting. Mrs. Tonaka is letting Morgan and me play a duet. We can hardly wait!