I started lessons somewhere between first and third grade, and I went through several piano teachers. I have gone through the phase of hating it, and now the piano and I are on good terms. The satisfaction of playing a piece perfectly never loses its feeling of elation, and sometimes shock. I like getting to the end of a book and knowing the work and love I've put into it has payed off. And I know very well the frustration I have when I have to repeat a song instead of moving on. All these and much more I am familiar with, because I play. But will I ever advance? It always seems I am so far behind my peers and their level of education will never reach me. Grr. Practicing is sometimes a trial too, but you knew that. I have actually started having bad dreams about failure when I don't practice! I think I'm going psychotic. The thing that is the worst for me is my panicking. If I'm playing the piano fine, and somebody walks in, I get all self-conscious and I start screwing up, which is horrible, TERRIBLE, AWFUL, EMBARRASSING! Especially today in YW. It was my turn to play the piano for the opening song, and I chose "come, follow me" as my song. I started playing it weeks ago, and I totally had it DOWN. I was amazing at that song! I had the introduction down, and everything ready to go. I was practically perfect. That is, perfect until today. I sat down at the bench to play the song, and did fine until the second line. I lost the bottom hand and my control. They sang A Capella for a while until I saved a final shred of dignity and played the top hand notes. After I finished faili- I mean, playing the song, the leaders tried to console me by saying a few halfhearted "good jobs" to me. That just made it worse. They knew I knew that they knew it stank. And trying to cover it up by a "good job"? That's almost as bad as saying "wow that blew. I'm glad I don't play as bad as you! It was like Mozart's worst nightmare come alive." I turned red as a beet, and looked at my shoes while we said the theme. Hot tears stung my eyes and I tried to maintain my composure as best I knew. At this point all I wanted to do was to run home and sob. it was so PRETTY! At least, before I disgraced the song by butchering it with my clumsy meat stubs of fingers. I never want to play in front of them again, but I will because I have to get over it! I will play a song beautifully one day, and it will be in front of a HUGE AUDIENCE. Wait and see. I will kick some serious bum, and blow away everyone by my mad skills. Mozart will be proud, as long as I turn my meat stubs into graceful swans that fly over the keys with grace and poise. I hope I will achieve it, because I want to. I want to be able to be advanced, and I would like to start teaching piano lessons when I'm sixteen. p.s. Sorry about the weird size up there. I don't know how it got like that!