While performing in the US I am very often asked to include a social outreach activity during my visit and so was this time, during my engagement with the Stockton Symphony Orchestra in California . The orchestra supporters have generously offered me an entire house for my own use – a house equipped with a huge gourmet kitchen , swimming pool , a lake WITH A KAYAK in front of the house , lovely people that took care of me , and all of this in between rehearsing Ravel concerto . Generally ,the weather was amazing and war, the swimming pool was very,very blue all the people were wonderful and friendly and I was having a fabulous time.
So ,by the time I was asked to visit an elementary school with children aged 10 and 11 that were thought according to El Sistema and tell them about the importance of practicing I found I was the one that needed to reach out for inspiration .My opening sentence to them was ‘ Guys – I need your help. The weather is beautiful, there is a swimming pool at the place where I am staying and I just DON’T FEEL like practicing. But I have to .Otherwise , sometime I won’t be able to pay my rent anymore. So , today you need to help mw out. Please , let’s come up with 5 good reasons for Martina to practice on such a sunny day’.
After the initial confusion, everybody showed great compassion and willingness to help with some either good or …..well , at least interesting ideas )))) . It is so wonderful to listen and watch what a still unspoiled and direct mind of a 10 year old will come up with!
We wrote the top 5 reasons to the blackboard – photo enclosed.They were:
1) To get better and better
2)To get better education and have fun doing it
3)Get famous and get hired more often
4)To be great like Jacqueline du Pre
5)So you don’t get nervous on stage
Numbers 1 and 5 are my personal favourite!
Afterwards , they were trying to teach me to play the violin and I did my best effort to produce the worst screeching sounds in the entire world.That delighted everyone and convinced me aditionally that choosing piano was not such a bad idea after all .