My daughters' school has a holiday sing every winter before school lets out for break. There is a prelude at the beginning for kids who take music lessons to perform a song on the instrument they are studying. Each grade performs a song and at the end, all the kids in the school (over 600) perform a song together. I'm not an overly emotional person but the last part always gives me goose bumps, it's so sweet. Last year the song was something about seeing Christmas through the eyes of a child (sung by a bunch of K-2 graders, even the Grinch would tear up).
My oldest came home from school the other day and said that for music class each kid in her class was given the opportunity to audition for the solo for their class song. They were given a microphone and were amped (to make it like the actual performance I guess). She said that some kids were laughing at their classmates during the auditions. I asked if anyone laughed at her and she said no but she felt bad for the kids who were laughed at. After music they went back to their classroom and their teacher asked how it went. My daughter without naming names said that she felt bad because some of the kids were laughed at, and she didn't think that was nice because it's hard to get up in front of a room full of people and perform and if you get laughed at you get embarrassed and may never want to do it again. The teacher took the opportunity to talk about why it's important to respect other peoples feelings and keep negative opinions to yourself. She even took it a step further and touched on bullying, although according to my daughter no one was teased after the fact, but still a good time to bring that up.
I was proud of my daughter for standing up for her classmates and was a little surprised to find out that her audition had earned her a call back (although I would never say this to her, but she's not the best singer : ). The callbacks took place during lunch and a couple of her friends were also called back, but one was not. The one who was not was sad to be excluded. My daughter tried to make her feel better by telling her, that sometimes it's better to be one of the crowd. Being a soloist is a lot of pressure, everyone is looking at you and if you make a mistake, it's embarrassing.
She's been taking piano for a year and a half now and has performed in three recitals. The first one she played a duet with her teacher and did great. The second one she played on her own and stumbled at one spot when she lost her place, but otherwise played very well. She was embarrassed after that second one, but her teacher and I consoled her by saying she played very well (or as her teacher said "she played musically" - meaning that her mistake didn't take a lot away from the song, as she picked right back up and finished the piece). Third time was a charm :)
She had music class again today and was not picked to be a soloist but has been asked to play the bells for one of the songs (one of her friends will play the maracas). I have a feeling the recognition was due to the way she handled the whole audition process, so I have to say I'm pretty proud of her. And yes, she will be performing on the piano in the prelude as well, and is working hard at memorizing her piece. She's pretty much got it down and still has 5 days to go.