Little Bug took part in his 1st ever piano competition today. Yes, he's just turned 6, the baby of the competition and he smallest too, hahaha...
No, i'm not some super-ambitious tiger mom with the eye on the trophy. But yes, I am the mom who wants her son to learn about intrinsic motivation from an early age. I want Little Bug to start learning about personal goals... personal targets.. and benchmarking against his own previous achievements. Well, not that he has been in a competition before, but he sure has come a long way from the basic do-re-mi. Heck, just last month I wasn't even sure if he could be able to finish learning the song for the competition, hehehe!
The song was a piece titled "March" by Dimitri Shostakovich. We chose a piece that was upbeat and goes along with his age: young and bubbly. I asked his teacher for a piece that wasn't too easy or too hard, but with enough challenge to scaffold his piano playing abilities. Alhamdulillah, he rose to the challenge and persevered, although i had to give him a pretty serious encouragement midway during his 2-month practice before the competition.
I told him... that what really mattered was his perseverance in practicing. His confidence in playing. His courage to take part in the competition, even though he barely made the minimum age requirement and had no previous experience. His endurance through the hard parts of the song. And mostly, it's not about winning, but about challenging your own self and striving to be better than before. Winning is just a bonus... but that's not the heart of the reason behind competing...it's against yourself and your own previous achievements, others are just inspiration.
So, now as I'm writing this, we're still in the concert hall, listening to other piano geniuses displaying their hard work. The trophies are lined up... and thankfully Little Bug performed with more ability than before. He slipped up a bit but didn't stop,just calmy fixed it and continued with his song, finishing with a lift of his small captain's hat and a big grin on his cheerful face. I'm thankful Little Bug can be a part of this.. i hope he'll be inspired.. and be humbled, always.