Playing for Friends and Family
Playing for Friends and Family
You have learned to play some songs very well. Your friends and family are anxious to hear you play. This is no time to disappoint them. Play your heart out and give them a show to remember. There are a few things to consider when you are in this position.
First of all, your friends and family can be your kindest audience or your harshest critics. Most of your loved ones will want you to do well. They might be so careful of your feelings that they tell you how great you played even if you know you made a lot of mistakes. There is nothing like the loving kindness of a friend or relative. You can become more confident if you know you are going to get praise when you play. However, if the admiration is not sincere, you will feel cheated. You might eventually stop playing for them because it does not seem to matter what you do – you always get the same reaction.
When friends or family members try to help you polish your act, they can be troublesome as well. They might or might not know something about playing the piano. If they know nothing about it, their advice will be nothing more than an irritation and an annoyance. It will not help you in the least when it comes to correcting any mistakes.
If there are other piano players in your intimate circle, they can be demanding. If you play better than they do, they might be jealous. They might say things to demean you. If you are not as advanced as another piano player in the room, you may be up for some pretty harsh criticism. Friends and family members often feel as if they have the right and even the responsibility to set you straight every time you miss the mark.
In the end, you have to play what you enjoy to play and hope that everyone enjoys it as well. You cannot please everyone, nor should you try to. It is far better to play without fear of what others might say than to worry about every little note. Remember that your loved ones generally want what is best for you. They just have a strange way of showing it sometimes.
Choose times to play for your friends and family when music seems a natural part of the occasion. If there is a birthday, ask if the host would like you to go to the piano and play Happy Birthday. For Christmas parties, you can volunteer to play carols for the group to sing. For a casual evening, you might see if people want to hear current songs. It is important to bring the others into the event and let them be a part of it.
When you are playing for a small, casual group such as this, it is good to start a conversation with the others about what they would like to hear. If you know how to play it, or can improvise it, perform it for them right away. If it is something you are unfamiliar with, suggest that one of you looks for the sheet music for a later song fest. Your friends and family will enjoy your playing if you are committed to making their experiences pleasant or moving. It is also good if you always look for ways to keep your repertoire up to date so that you can surprise and amaze your small audience. After awhile, your loved ones will look forward to hearing you play.