Tomoko doesn’t mind waiting in the airport, if she can buy a cup of coffee and eat a croissant in the dining area. There’s a certain pleasure. “They have a different taste than at home,” she says. It could be that it feels like a treat: not having to fix it yourself; “Maybe you are paying for the taste,” she says. It reflects a sense of leisure and luxury, even if it is at a small scale. “It is like buying self-confidence.”
Self-confidence can happen every day. Having a clean house, making a nice meal, wearing a well-made comfortable outfit, all make one feel good about oneself.
And music can bring self-confidence. Of course, a well-performed recital can exude self-confidence. But doing a good lesson also gives one self-confidence. Being disciplined in practice builds confidence. Sometimes a challenging section of a piano piece can test one’s self-confidence, but patience and perseverance can help overcome the difficulty – and improve one’s self-confidence, which comes from pride in “conquering” that musical challenge.
Once in a while, self-confidence can get in the way of music appreciation. “Listening to music in a concern is like judging,” Tomoko feels, especially if it is a piano performance. Being self-confidence can lead to comparisons and dissatisfaction with that concert: “I am better than the performer.” Instead, Tomoko prefers watching skating or enjoying an opera; it’s a way to not feel obligated to judge. Rather, Tomoko can appreciate the skater’s or singer’s own self-confidence.
Tomoko helps her students develop self-confidence by both challenging them and supporting them so they too can master a piano piece. “The best self-confidence comes from self-competence,” thinks Tomoko. In that respect, self-confidence is no luxury: it’s a vital part of one’s self-identity.