The Piano Recital & Waiting

The Piano Recital and Waiting

The Piano Recital, written and illustrated by Akiko Miyakoshi and Edgar Degas (French, 1834–1917), Waiting, pastel on beige laid paper, Jointly owned by the Norton Simon Art Foundation, Pasadena and The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Featured Book: The Piano Recital, written and illustrated by Akiko Miyakoshi
Featured Artwork: Edgar Degas's Waitingc. 1879–1882

In The Piano Recital, written and illustrated by Akiko Miyakoshi, a little girl named Momo nervously awaits her turn to play the piano at her first recital. As she tells herself, "I'll be okay... I'll be okay...," she discovers a mouseling who leads her to a miniature theater where she sees singers, dancers and circus performers. When the mouseling is nervous for her turn to sing, Momo reassures her and accompanies her on piano. The room fills with applause and when Momo looks up, she realizes that she is at her recital, and the audience is clapping for her.

In Waiting, Edgar Degas (French, 1834–1917) captures a moment behind the scenes at the Paris Opéra, where a young ballet dancer and her chaperone, or possibly another dancer in street clothes, sit on a bench, deep in thought. The girls seems exhausted and anxious, perhaps from the anticipation or aftermath of a dance examination that would determine their futures.

What is something you tell yourself that helps you feel better when you're feeling nervous? Inspired by The Piano Recital and Degas's Waiting, write an encouraging affirmation on a pocket-sized card to keep with you as a reminder, and decorate it with colors that make you feel good.

If you don’t have access to the featured book, select something similar from your child’s book shelf or your local library. Many of the books are also available as read-aloud videos online.