My passion is to help others in the community, young, old, and everyone in between, find relevance and joy in learning, performing or listening to classical music.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Thoughts upon returning home from seeing "The King's Speech"

Fortunately for you, it's almost 11pm so I'm going to keep this post short.

I just got home after seeing the movie, "The King's Speech."  My husband and I had heard nothing but rave reviews so I wasn't surprised to find myself completely pulled into the story.  What I am surprised by is the lesson I brought home with me this evening.

King George VI was a performer, just as so many of us are performers.  But unlike most musicians, actors, dancers, comedians, he wasn't performing because it was his passion; he performed his assigned role because it was simply and unquestionably his duty.  And just as we spend hour after hour practicing, studying, perfecting our musical and artistic voices, this king faced hour after hour of hard work with his speech therapist so that he could stand up and simply get through one of his main job requirements - to address his nation.  For a man with such an incredible speech impediment and who must have dreaded speaking in a public way, especially, I can't imagine the terror he must have felt as he stood in front of the microphone before making the speech at the onset of World War II.  It must have been similar to my worst nightmares - walking onto the stage knowing that I can't make it through the piece up to tempo; not knowing what piece I'm supposed to play; having a humongous memory slip in front of a full house.  And what struck me as I listened to this king's brilliant triumph over his stuttering problem, was how fortunate we are as musicians, to have passion and desire to see us through when we are facing our own fears in the practice room and on the stage.  I am a musician because I cannot imagine myself as anything else.  I am a musician because I want to be a musician.  I choose to work through my nerves, fears, and doubts because I have made that choice to be a musician.  

Tonight reminded me of what a privilege and blessing that is.  

The next time I start to buckle under pressure or doubt whether or not I can successfully carry off a piece of music, I hope that I will remember the example of King George VI.  If he could fight off his own demons enough to play his part in history, then so can I, in my own small, musical way.  

Note about this youtube video:
I found this video on youtube which I believe is the recording of the original speech that King George VI gave over which someone has then overdubbed the Beethoven's 7th Symphony Allegretto movement which is what is used in the movie, "The King's Speech."   So the voice you're hearing is really King George VI's, not Colin Firth's.


  1. i can tell you enjoy what you do!

  2. Thank you, David. You figured me out! ;-)


  3. I saw and loved the movie, and had totally not thought about it that way. Thanks for sharing your opinion, it's inspiring!

  4. You're very welcome, Geraldine. Such an inspiring movie, isn't it? One of those ones I simply don't want to forget!

    Thank you for your comment and happy blogging and musicking :-)


  5. Awesome movie. Inspiring message. Thanks for your post.