So I went last night to something of a recital night performed by students from all over. It was nice, nice weather, good tent, good talent, nice fireworks after. These are rare kids. Lotsa' talent and presence. It is fun to see self-assurance, confidence, sureness and more than a teaspoon full of talent. These kids could play. Make no mistake.
I've had half a dozen friends in music who have kids who have gone here. All deserving and let me tell you that your chances of getting admitted are 500 to 1. These are the gifted.and the fortunate; with parents who can afford, support $50 grand a year in lessons and instruments payments. This is an elite and make no mistake, it is a combination of exquisite talent and money. Some of my kids had the talent and perhaps the money and now they are stars...but paid for in effort; not cash.
I'm drawn a bit to the comparison with El Systema in Venezuela that has a thousand of these kids, dirt poor,with a national system of 400,000 participants and 1 or twenty to orchestras, some the finest in the world.
So there I sat. I listened to kids play very nicely; some extraordinarily, figuring I was watching a million bucks in private lessons and twice that in supportive expenses and 2 thousand miles to the south, living hand to mouth in conditions that would be wretched on any level, were the equal if not the master.
Just a thought about priorities and perspective.