On little stars
About three weeks ago, I decided it was a good idea for me to have a piano lesson once again - for the first time in five years. I arranged for a lesson with one of my old coaches, Han-Louis Meijer, prepared for it, and when the big day came, I went to the Hague getting increasingly nervous.
So nervous, in fact, that I was more than half an hour early for this lesson.
But, I reasoned, there's a public piano at the station, so I might as well go through some of the repertoire while I waited.
When I'd finished with the Rondo Cappriccioso, I turned to go - and was met by twenty pairs of four-year-old eyes.
You see, an entire class of toddlers was going on a trip by train. It was apparently time for their cookie-and-lemonade, and their supervisors had decided that near the piano was an excellent place to make camp.
So I asked if they had any requests... so the themes from Disney's Frozen, Tangled and Vaiana were dug out of the crevasses of my memory.
And then I asked if there were any songs they could sing along with.
They asked for "Olifantje in het bos", which translates as "baby elephant in the woods".
Thankfully, my eldest adorable nephew has recently taken great delight in singing at me, and therefore I knew that the melody for "olifantje in het bos" is in fact the same as "twinkle twinkle little star".
We did a grand total of five verses. The first time my choir was a little shy, but when I told them I couldn't hear them they found their courage and gave the good people of the Hague an almost sickeningly cute concert.
After the five verses, I had to unfortunately excuse myself to go to my lesson.
My nervousness had completely evaporated.
So here we have another way to deal with nerves - find a gaggle of toddlers and have a sing-song with them..!