Ya know, it’s very fortunate I
So I ended up volunteering, in a stroke of MADNESS to be a piano playing volunteer at the Children’s Hospital.
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*