The boys had a piano recital yesterday afternoon. Thing One is an old hand at these by now, but he still gets very anxious immediately before the show and spends a lot of time pacing around the auditorium. Thing Two, being new to piano lessons, was performing publicly for the first time ever.
Thing Two has suffered through far more than his fair share of therapy (speech, OT, etc) through the years, and is very sensitive to the fact that he needs so much more help than most of his peers. Although he is doing remarkably well at the piano, he's still a beginner, and most beginner recital pieces are written as duets, with the student playing a simplified melody and the instructor a more complex harmony. A few weeks ago, his instructor asked me to come into her studio during one of his lessons, and when I did, I found him crying on the piano bench. She was distressed and apologetic and had no idea why he was so upset.
A little questioning sorted out that he was very unhappy about having to play two duets, because in his mind it was the instructor having to 'help' him with his pieces. He's had it up to his ears with help--he's a proud child--and the instructor rightfully had no idea what was going on, since she didn't have that particular piece of the backstory. She and I decided on the spot that it was not a fight worth fighting and that we wanted his first recital to be a happy experience for him.
He went onstage yesterday and played his parts of the two duets as solos instead. They sounded beautiful--he played them perfectly. And he was able to show everyone--in his mind--that he didn't need any stinkin' help to do it, either.
Thing One did a great job...muscle memory took over and he rocked his piece. Thing Two did exactly what he was supposed to do, right down to the bow after his second piece.
I'm calling that a win all around.