After I hung up, I started to worry. In fact, I hoped she wouldn't be chosen but a week later we got the call that she made it as a performer. That's when my worry went into overdrive. I even resorted to bribery (I'm not proud of it) but I talked her in to playing the song ten times a day and I'd buy her two books she'd been wanting. Bianca totally fulfilled her end of the bargain and she practiced without complaint. And she improved and she even memorized it (which I hadn't expected) and at home, the song was nearly perfect. She was ready.
Yesterday, I took her downtown for the masterclass. Most of the other performers were quite a bit older than Bianca (most were high-schoolers playing Rachmaninoff and Chopin and the other great piano concertos). Bianca stood up there bravely, struggled with the bench that was quite large for her, and played her piece. And as she played, Bianca struggled in a way I hadn't seen her do for weeks. She even stopped the song a couple times to get back on track. But she made it through and she finished strong. The instructor (Hilary Demske, a professor at UVU) helped her with several things--she was using much too much pedal (in the video, you can see her pumping away at it like she's playing a pump organ) and her left hand drowns out her right hand in the fast section near the end and Hilary taught her a way to make big chords easier with her small hands.
But how do the kids who are truly great get noticed without pushy parents who take a chance? What about that little 10-year-old girl who sings opera on America's Got Talent? My guess is she had a pushy mom (or other person in her life) or no one would know she exists. I read recently that Beethoven was a prodigy just as Mozart was as a child but his parents didn't know how to "market" him the way Mozart's parents did. I'm not saying Bianca's a prodigy, but I do want to give her all the opportunities in the world she can have. I guess I just need to make sure she wants them.
She did work hard and despite her mistakes, I'm still very, very proud of her. (After watching the video again, I'm a little heartbroken that it's me Bianca looks at right before the performance and right after. I'm guessing my opinion means more to her than anyone else's. She needs to know that I'm proud of her and I'm going to make sure I let her know.)