Our Stories: Gill’s Bach Memory Slip

Gill wrote:

Aged sixteen, I was down to play a piano solo at the end-of-year concert with my school orchestra. It was a Bach… something, that I knew inside out and back to front because I was also playing it for my grade 8 Royal Conservatory exam. And for whatever reason, that day, in spite of having the music in front of me (but not really reading it, because, you know, I knew it by heart), about a third of the way through I just blanked. Stopped. No idea what came next. So, determined, I started again. And the same thing happened. And a third time. By which point I was so thoroughly rattled that I just put my head down on the top of the piano and left the stage… Afterwards, when the concert was over and people were filing out, I sat down at the piano again and played the Bach through, start to finish. Which made me feel a bit better but… not that much. Maybe, if I’d had psychological coaching, I’d have gone further with my music.

-Gill, Amateur Pianist