When I teach piano, one thing I find myself constantly repeating to my students is that a person should only play a piece as quickly as she can play accurately. If there are mistakes being made, the piece is not being played slowly enough. Accuracy is much more important than speed.
So this morning I was playing through some old pieces, attempting to daydream my way into some cohesion of ideas for the next school year. (Does anyone else ever do this? Play an instrument as a way to access the hidden corners of the mind, where solutions are sure to be found, but are not plainly available in regular life? I also clean as a way to access those thoughts. Typing on the computer helps too, sometimes.)
My youngest piano student, six-year-old Cornflower, came to listen. I was playing Rondo a la Turk by Mozart, and I was rusty, having to slow down during transitions, occasionally missing the fingering in the runs, etc.
This sweet child watched and listened for a little while, then thoughtfully said, "Mom, I think you need to play that piece more slowly."
At least I know she's paying attention.