“2nd place, Sherry Tang.”
I stared up in shock at the announcer. I was sitting in the middle of an audience I had just played for a few hours ago.
I turn around to see the audience cheering their lungs out for me. Even though I’ve been through so many competitions before, none of the competitions could even compare to the contrasting feelings I was having at the moment. Although at the time, I still did not know who won in the finals of one of the biggest competitions in California, nor did I know what the judges thought of me, I knew that I had successfully completed a memory that would have a big impact on my life. I knew that I had worked hard and tried my best, and even if I ended up not even winning a place, I would have earned something from this extreme event.
My teacher had been trying to decide what piece to give me for my next competition: MTAC, the Music Teacher’s Association of California. What does that mean? It means that I will be competing in one of the biggest, and hardest competition in California again. It would be the 3rd time in this competition for me, after failing the first time, and barely achieving ‘Honorable Mention’ the second time. I knew that this was my chance, my chance to finally show all the critics, all the people that believed I was just a talentless girl with extremely well-known teachers, that I actually was able to play the piano.
“Oh! How about this piece?” my mentor suggested.
I looked up to see my teacher, a young boy stuck in a old man’s body, look at me, so happy and excited about something that he was almost bouncing off the floor. I see him holding a green book, and I see as he opens the book to the 5th page, the words “Abegg Variations” by Schumann.
I nearly fainted right there and then. “How did this teacher expect me to play this super hard piece that even Lang Lang made mistakes in when he played, when I couldn’t even play my...