World, today I practiced piano for an hour.
I mean, really practiced. Metronome, exercise book, scales, the real deal. And I made some serious progress on the Schubert piece that I've been wanting to perfect. Serious enough that I might might have it ready in time for Grand Pianos Live. (So ya know, if you want to come see me or anything...)
It felt...so good. Seriously. Not just to be at the piano again, not just to feel like I was making quality music, but to know that I was making music on my own terms. That I wasn't doing it for a grade, that I wasn't preparing for juries or a recital or a nervewracking lesson the next day. I was just playing because I wanted to play. Because I missed Schubert. Because I love the feeling of drilling a phrase over and over again, until you've got the dynamics and the phrasing and the balance and the expression absolutely perfect, and then you can move on to the next phrase and make it just as perfect. Knowing I could stop any time I wanted, that I could practice for 15 minutes or 3 hours, and it didn't matter.
It's a feeling I haven't felt in a long, long time. And it was perfect.