"I can't," he said, "I'm shy."
It was his first recital so I offered to stand with him in front of the group.
"It wasn't that bad." he said after with a broad grin.
There in a nutshell is the reason to perform frequently. We can learn that our fears are not that real. Coming through a gut-wrenching experience can build hope that we are growing and changing. If we falter the lesson is still important. Perhaps we should have prepared better, or perhaps we learned that life goes on after a stressful event, or best, that we made music come alive and people enjoyed it.
For the teacher, sitting on the sidelines, the event is emotional. I know too well what could happen. I see their legs shake, their hearts race, and their hands stiffen with cold. I send them bushels of love and hold them together with teacher energy. Then I clap and whisper that they were fabulous and feel privileged to know them in their most vulnerable hour. It is exhausting, but so worth the effort.