Charity, Uncategorized VOLUTEERING AT THE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL 23 January 2010

Ya know, it’s very fortunate I was likely born without an embarrassment gene in my body. Otherwise I’d probably have burst into tears and cried.

So I ended up volunteering, in a stroke of MADNESS to be a piano playing volunteer at the Children’s Hospital.

Why?
I have no idea!

It mainly stemmed from the fact that I like volunteering at hospitals, and even more so with children. So to me, it was a winning combination. Whilst I had’t played the piano in over 10 years (!!!!!) I figured “no big deal” since it was volunteering. Plus, I passed my Grade 8 piano already, so I knew I was good, just that I hadn’t practised so just needed a few mins beforehand to get up-to-speed. I was imagining a small, cosy room…. wee kiddies around me, me whacking out a few easy-peasy childrens’ songs and having a bit of a sing-a-long. No problem!

When I arrived…. I just about fainted. It was the EXACT OPPOSITE of what I’d imagined. In fact, it was a HUGE hospital, and it was a grand piano smack bang in the middle of the huge lobby, with lots of children and parents rushing around. Frankly, it was basically being a piano performer, but for free.

To me, it had nothing to do with volunteering (my definition: hands-on work with people). It was just being a show pony and playing beautiful, elaborate pieces. Of which I could not, since I hadn’t touched a piano in over a decade!

So I proceeded into a downward spiral of utter humiliation – I got to the piano, banged out my childrens’ songs (wasn’t even able to practise beforehand, since the piano isn’t in a private area), whilst people said “Oh!!! Errr. She is not very good” and judged me for the entire 5 minutes I was playing. I can’t even describe how bad I was, let’s just say that Chris (who is normally very supportive), said I was terrible 😛 I don’t disagree and I’m not disappointed about that – it’s the truth – what do you expect from someone that hasn’t touched a piano in 10 years?!

In retrospect, I find it really funny. But at that time, it was a classic “WTF?” moment if I had ever experienced one 😉 So shame-faced, I gave up. Promptly some whippersnapper 10 year old girl piped up “Can I play?” and proceeded to kick my ass with her superb skills. Obviously a typical Chinese girl that has been forced by parents to learn the piano so they can trot her around and show off, but whatever the case, she was good. So depressing.

I told them I won’t be volunteering doing that again. There’s no point – I’m not actually helping anyone, the hospital should just hire a performer instead of trying to get free performers, and I suck since I can’t practise. I was a bit sad I didn’t get to do any actual volunteering, like interacting with sick children and cheering them up. It was all a bit of a FAIL. Oh well. At least I tried!


Me banging away at the piano = *facepalm*


36 Comments

  • opalline posted on January 23, 2010 at 6:36 am

    HAHA! This is exactly where my piano skills are at. I sometimes look at a piece of music and think “no problem, I could sight-read this in my sleep back in the day” and then I actually try to play and end up sounding ridiculous!

    Points to you for effort! 🙂

    Reply
    • beverly posted on January 23, 2010 at 9:22 am

      YES!!! Leading up to the day I was all “Pshawww it’s gonna be easy, I can just pick it up again in 1 min” but in actual fact, i sucked to high heavens. Doh 😛

      Reply
  • sydneyfoodie posted on January 23, 2010 at 7:32 am

    OMG! that would have been embarrassing! I have my grade 8 too but have not touched a piano for over a decade. No way would I have been as brave as you. If I had been in your situation I would have told them at the last minute that there was no way I would be playing in front of an audience!

    But good on you for being so brave!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on January 23, 2010 at 9:32 am

      Heh we are both about the same then.. man it was such an absurd situation.. thankfully no one there is likely to ever know or see me again 😉

      Reply
  • oh_ayana posted on January 23, 2010 at 8:20 am

    YOU’RE SO BRAVE, good for you!!!
    I played piano too eons ago, I think the only thing I can play now is Mary had a Little Lamb and I’ll probably get that wrong too!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on January 23, 2010 at 9:33 am

      I literally played stuff like that.. with one hand too. Such a FAIL, rofl!

      Reply
  • opalline posted on January 23, 2010 at 6:36 am

    HAHA! This is exactly where my piano skills are at. I sometimes look at a piece of music and think “no problem, I could sight-read this in my sleep back in the day” and then I actually try to play and end up sounding ridiculous!

    Points to you for effort! 🙂

    Reply
    • beverly posted on January 23, 2010 at 9:22 am

      YES!!! Leading up to the day I was all “Pshawww it’s gonna be easy, I can just pick it up again in 1 min” but in actual fact, i sucked to high heavens. Doh 😛

      Reply
  • madmoneymonkey posted on January 23, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Hahahaha, that IS embarrassing Bev!!! and the crowd around you in the last pic!! LOL.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on January 24, 2010 at 1:38 am

      Yeah people were standing around in disbelief going, IS SHE REALLY DOING THIS?!! hahahah

      Reply
  • sydneyfoodie posted on January 23, 2010 at 7:32 am

    OMG! that would have been embarrassing! I have my grade 8 too but have not touched a piano for over a decade. No way would I have been as brave as you. If I had been in your situation I would have told them at the last minute that there was no way I would be playing in front of an audience!

    But good on you for being so brave!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on January 23, 2010 at 9:32 am

      Heh we are both about the same then.. man it was such an absurd situation.. thankfully no one there is likely to ever know or see me again 😉

      Reply
  • oh_ayana posted on January 23, 2010 at 8:20 am

    YOU’RE SO BRAVE, good for you!!!
    I played piano too eons ago, I think the only thing I can play now is Mary had a Little Lamb and I’ll probably get that wrong too!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on January 23, 2010 at 9:33 am

      I literally played stuff like that.. with one hand too. Such a FAIL, rofl!

      Reply
  • Anonymous posted on January 23, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Oh my, you are incredibly brave. I’m kind of in the same situation as you, in that I completed my Grade 8 piano about 5 years ago and haven’t played much in the succeeding years – but I would NEVER be brave enough to play in public! Seriously, you deserve respect even for trying! 🙂

    Reply
    • beverly posted on January 24, 2010 at 1:45 am

      Well,I sucked to high heavens but at least wont see anyone there again, so not too bad, hah!

      Reply
  • madmoneymonkey posted on January 23, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Hahahaha, that IS embarrassing Bev!!! and the crowd around you in the last pic!! LOL.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on January 24, 2010 at 1:38 am

      Yeah people were standing around in disbelief going, IS SHE REALLY DOING THIS?!! hahahah

      Reply
  • Anonymous posted on January 23, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Oh my, you are incredibly brave. I’m kind of in the same situation as you, in that I completed my Grade 8 piano about 5 years ago and haven’t played much in the succeeding years – but I would NEVER be brave enough to play in public! Seriously, you deserve respect even for trying! 🙂

    Reply
    • beverly posted on January 24, 2010 at 1:45 am

      Well,I sucked to high heavens but at least wont see anyone there again, so not too bad, hah!

      Reply
  • drshree posted on January 24, 2010 at 2:12 am

    Oh man!!! That’s outright false “advertising” as far as I’m concerned!!! They could have at LEAST told you what you were in for!!! But like you said, at least you tried, so 10 karma points for you!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on January 24, 2010 at 3:39 am

      They were nice about it.. and they did tell me repeatedly it was ok that I was so rusty. Wish I’d known it was more of a performance than one-on-one though 😛

      Reply
  • drshree posted on January 24, 2010 at 2:12 am

    Oh man!!! That’s outright false “advertising” as far as I’m concerned!!! They could have at LEAST told you what you were in for!!! But like you said, at least you tried, so 10 karma points for you!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on January 24, 2010 at 3:39 am

      They were nice about it.. and they did tell me repeatedly it was ok that I was so rusty. Wish I’d known it was more of a performance than one-on-one though 😛

      Reply
  • thefragrantelf posted on January 25, 2010 at 4:29 am

    Aw, no, hon! At least you did try, that was awesome.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on January 25, 2010 at 1:00 pm

      I guess that’s a positive way of looking at it, hee!

      Reply
  • thefragrantelf posted on January 25, 2010 at 4:29 am

    Aw, no, hon! At least you did try, that was awesome.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on January 25, 2010 at 1:00 pm

      I guess that’s a positive way of looking at it, hee!

      Reply
  • chisin posted on January 25, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    LOL! That’s a hilarious story! I’m glad you could melt into the background afterwards.

    I hadn’t touched a piano since 1995, and when I tried to play something last year (thankfully without an audience at my parent’s place) to my surprise, my fingers refused to work…and I also forgot how to read music, so I understand perfectly.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on January 26, 2010 at 2:30 am

      Yes i felt like that exactly! when i played with one hand it was just fine.. but was a disaster playing with 2.. and my sight reading skills are crap now 😛

      Reply
  • chisin posted on January 25, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    LOL! That’s a hilarious story! I’m glad you could melt into the background afterwards.

    I hadn’t touched a piano since 1995, and when I tried to play something last year (thankfully without an audience at my parent’s place) to my surprise, my fingers refused to work…and I also forgot how to read music, so I understand perfectly.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on January 26, 2010 at 2:30 am

      Yes i felt like that exactly! when i played with one hand it was just fine.. but was a disaster playing with 2.. and my sight reading skills are crap now 😛

      Reply
  • exhileration posted on January 29, 2010 at 12:48 am

    That’s awesome of you to volunteer to play the piano 🙂

    Reply
    • beverly posted on January 29, 2010 at 1:33 am

      Well.. in retrospect no, cos I was SO BAD, rofl!!

      Reply
  • exhileration posted on January 29, 2010 at 12:48 am

    That’s awesome of you to volunteer to play the piano 🙂

    Reply
    • beverly posted on January 29, 2010 at 1:33 am

      Well.. in retrospect no, cos I was SO BAD, rofl!!

      Reply

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