I’ll always remember preparing for my first organ recital while in grad school. I was getting more and more frustrated over a particular passage and bemoaning the fact that I made mistakes while playing it about 50% of the time. I had a very wise instructor and he said to me, “Everyone makes mistakes. The sign of a good musician is what you do with them.” That led to an incredibly good discussion about the intent of a music performance. What do we hope to convey with our playing? Why are we playing the music? Why do we share the music? The discussion led me to this conclusion: If I worry only about making a mistake, the performance becomes all about me. Doing my best to project the beauty of the music, even if there is a flaw, makes the performance all about the music. My instructor was right. In my practice sessions, I do my best to learn the music flawlessly – but mistakes happen. And I try my best, when they happen, to weave them into the beauty of the music. Because it is all about the music.