Yesterday after youth orchestra rehearsal ended, a young violinist named Cordelia approached me with her father. He introduced himself, and I asked Cordelia if she was enjoying the orchestra. She smiled and nodded, and we chatted about how nice it is that violin is a "social" instrument that lets you play in orchestras and chamber ensembles with other musicians. Her dad said, "She really likes sitting in the middle of all the music," and I couldn't agree with that sentiment more.
Then I told Cordelia my little secret: "Sometimes I feel sorry for pianists. Except for a few pianists who do a lot of collaborative playing, I think lots of them have lonely musical lives, because they play by themselves so much."
Then her dad told me: "Thanks for working with these kids. You're very brave, and very patient."
And I thought to myself that it does indeed take bravery to walk into the mayhem of a room full of children with instruments capable of making a great deal of noise, and try to bring them into harmony with one another.