Music, in performance, is a type of sculpture. The air in the performance is sculpted into something. – Frank Zappa
Your performance matters.
When you are a child, you know your performance matters. Your parents take you to the recital and give you lots of praise afterwards.
It can be harder to believe your performance matters when you are an adult. You know too much. You have heard others play the same music before, maybe better. You may wonder if the audience has heard the piece too many times. (Somebody plays it on the recital every year…)
Here’s why your performance matters: it’s the only one.
Music is an art of the moment. Yes, we have recordings, but they are an imperfect medium. They depict a moment, much as a photograph does. They can be beautiful and moving, but they are only an image. Reality happens in the moment of performance.
When you perform, you fix a moment in time in which you, the instrument, the composer’s work and the audience collaborate. The composer has written what you interpret for the audience. Three equal partners in the moment.
So when you perform, you help to create something unique, something that may be repeated but never truly duplicated.
That’s why every performance is special. And it’s why your performance matters.