Here's an email I received from a student who takes my vocal performance class each summer at The Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, in Alaska:
"Applause and appreciation are ego boosting. All performers love both. Recently, an elderly friend of mine (at least older than I am) gave me something more precious; gratitude.
Recently, my friend lost her husband of many years. The two of them loved to dance together and Stardust was one of their favorites. I sang Stardust at our show last summer. It was a so-so performance; not bad, but it didn't bring the house down. Now, months later, my friend told me how after the show she came home and cried for three hours - happy memory tears. That song had touched her deeply. She was grateful for those hours of happy tears.
Last Sunday my group of friends played our monthly show at an assisted living home. Many in that audience arrive in wheel chairs and show the signs of aches and pains. Today I will sing for our church service at that same home. Afterwards, a friend and I will go to the home a bedridden lady to play old some time hymns she loves. These venues produce little or no applause, but the appreciation and gratitude are thunderous."
This email says it all. As performers we're often so wrapped up in our own thoughts/nervousness/efforts that we forget about the true power of music. We often have no idea how much our music is touching our listeners' hearts. Now go out there and heal the world with your music 🙂
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