Perform outside your comfort zone and watch your confidence flourish
On Tuesday I dusted down my cello, rehearsed at the cathedral in the morning and performed in the Senior School Gala Concert in the evening.
It was an enjoyable, if somewhat nerve-wracking experience. I only play intermittently and then usually where no one else can hear me. To be suddenly thrust into the limelight, albeit within an orchestra, is me being pushed very much outside my comfort zone.
I have seen several parents recently looking round the school for their daughter and I often find myself talking about how we build confidence at the school. One of the ways this is achieved is by giving the girls numerous opportunities to perform or speak in front of an audience. So much so that by the time they are in the older years of the Prep School it is a matter of course, not something that they worry about. Girls joining us soon follow suit and it is always a pleasure to see their self-esteem flourishing.
I was not alone in joining the orchestra. Dr Barrett and Mrs Hill also played alongside several of our peripatetic teaches past and present. It shows how connected our school is and that the staff are prepared to put themselves forward regardless of what age they teach. I would suggest that this is indicative of the links that occur throughout the whole school. Girls at Portsmouth High have excellent transition from stage to stage and have familiarity from knowing the environment and the people within it.
I was particularly touched by the number of senior girls that greeted me warmly during the rehearsals and at the performance. It is wonderful to see them achieving so well and realising their talent.