It doesn't really matter how big or small the event is. It just matters that it turns out "right". (That little voice is chuckling again.)
On October 27th, I gathered my musicians together for a performance opportunity at The Gardens in Santa Monica - an assisted living home for the elderly. It seemed so simple to organize. I had made a phone call a few weeks prior, set up the hour long time slot, informed and invited my musicians and their families and arrived on the 27th ready to entertain.
"Who are you visiting today?" The lady behind the information counter asked. As I told her that we were scheduled to play for everyone, she scrambled through her papers to find something that would indicate this to be true. She didn't find anything. She did, however, inform me that we were competing with BINGO and that if we really wanted to have an audience we should have been put on the calendar. Go with the flow.
Though there were only a handful of residents in the lobby, they seemed curious about our visit. One child started to play and our mini audience came closer and settled in for the entire hour. One after another the students played 2, 3, 4 songs from their repertoire and once finished they asked if they could go again. We heard blues, classical, contemporary, and lots of sing-a-long songs. Towards the end, the kids just started lining up to play. They knew they had a limited amount of time and they wanted to get in as much as possible!
I had imagined something entirely different for this event, however, I got more than I had expected. I got to see my students light up at the opportunity to just play and the opportunity to listen to others play. Will I plan out our next event and expect it to happen as it "should"? Absolutely. But I will also go with the flow if it doesn't? Oh, yes.
Here are some photos from our playing opportunity: