The entire predication to finagling my sons to learn how to play the piano was based on me agreeing to no recitals. I figured it was a decent trade off. No whining from them if I agree to them not playing in public. It worked really well until my younger son started showing a real aptitude for music. His teacher calls it aptitude, but I call it flare. He attacks my piano like a mad scientist... hair flying, hands bouncing all over the place and intense concentration. It's very entertaining to watch.
His teacher was the one who talked him into performing. I lay all of it on her. I couldn't bear it if I had passed on dehabilitating stage fright to my kid. On the way to the concert hall, my son was threatening to throw up, clutching his stomach and groaning about how playing in front of people was going to kill him. We went over the drill. You walk up, bow, play, bow and then sit down. Piece of cake!
Wait a sec... you want me to bow?!?!?!?!
The end of the world began. No self respecting boy was going to bow. That was just embarrassing and he flatly refused. So, I figured, hey, I'll give you twenty bucks if you bow. I aimed high mainly because I keep on forgetting that my 9 year old has figured out the worth of money and twenty bucks could buy him that Lego set he's been eyeing.
The deal was on. He ran to the stage, sat at the piano and played FLAWLESSLY (he didn't get that from me, that's for sure!). When he was done, he stood, crossed his arms over his middle and bowed. In fact he bowed so good, he could have conked his nose on his knee caps. When he resurfaced he was beaming and I was sure I could read his exact thoughts; he just made the easiest 20$ ever.
I payed up and at the store last week, we were checking out with his Lego set in hand. He handed over that $20 so smug the cashier asked him how he earned enough money to buy such a cool set of Legos.
The boy did not miss a beat. He smirked and said... "I bowed for it."