A Short Story on the Website of
the Red Dirt Writers Society

Just Play
by Kyrstie Neely (Sep 2007)

          I sit down at the piano bench, stretch my feet out to the pedals, take a deep breath, and begin playing. I can feel my fingers gliding across the keys. But I Ďm not really thinking about my music. I know if I do, Iíll make a mistake or even lose my place.

          I did that once, lost my place. In an important competition, I had been been playing for about three minutes, and the piece was almost over. Then I started thinking about where I was in the music and what came next. I panicked and within 20 seconds my fingers had stopped playing, and I was just sitting there at the bench. Had I been playing for people who didnít know music, I would have been fine. But these people happened to be very well trained in the art of music. Ever since then Iíve been terrified of making a mistake.

          I play the last chord of my piece and think back on that time. I remember the vow that I made to myself - the vow that I keep today, the vow to just play.

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Revised September 2007.