Sunday, June 14, 2009
Irie's piano recital
Saturday, June 13, 2009 and Chez Bailey-Browne is full of nerves. We talked Irie into participating in the "concours de piano" about a month ago and it took some serious persuading. Now the day was here and she was very nervous. Who could blame her? Elisabeth came in the morning for a specially-scheduled practice, mostly to explain how the event would proceed and give last-minute tips. Irie knew the song by heart and was ready, but she was anxious. We took her out to lunch along the beach, then headed into town via the bus. From the bus stop we walked into the park that is home to the Villa Aurélienne as well as the remains of Roman aqueducts. When we arrived at the Villa we could hear the strains of advanced students playing their pieces which only increased Irie's anxiety. She repeated multiple times: "I can't do this" while we assured her that she knew the song, and tried to calm her nerves. Problem was, Mom was almost as nervous. Finally it was her group's turn and the little room was packed full. Only when Irie's name got called did I experience that same feeling, silently rooting for her to "nail it" which she did. Then it was all smiles, the nervousness gone. She did a great job! Here's the video.
Thanks to her friend Laly's grandparents for showing up and supporting her, even though Laly had to be somewhere else. And to Michelle, Abbie and Nicholas who also came to give their support (and help take pictures). Afterwards, we all stuck around for a "goûtée" (snack) then went back inside for the awards. They had 3 categories: assez bien (rather well), bien (good), and très bien (very good). Irie received a "bien" and seemed genuinely pleased and interested in the other prizes she got with it which included some piano music, a coupon for shopping at a local store, and a rose. Her excitement in playing the piano in the last 24 hours has been noticeable so we hope she will want to continue lessons back home. We have promised to buy a piano if she does.
Laly's grandparents have really adopted Irie (and our family) as if they were HER grandparents. Besides Easter dinner and a beach picnic which were fun family-wide events, they have included Irie in many other activities with Laly. Today, after the recital they offered to drive us home, and on the way we made a stop at the Vietnamese Buddhist temple and war memorial for France's own Indochine war which occured before the U.S's involvement. The grounds of the temple were very peaceful and relaxing and a perfect way to wind down from the tension of Irie's big day.