Private Lessons
dir. Michael Perrone

The Story

From ripple to wave,
the sincerest song rang true.
An avalanche fell.

It’s not only artists who come to crossroads about the meaning in what they do. Everyone wonders whether their purpose is purposeful to others, or whether it is their calling at all. In Private Lessons, Oliver is growing tired of asking these questions. He’s seen his peers from music school surpass him. He sees them as what he would consider successful. His audience is dwindling. His spotlight is dimming.

Oliver teaches trumpet lessons to school students, a living far less glamorous than performing in clubs or in concert halls. He wonders who his gift is really reaching beyond the kids who are only in his lessons because of their mothers. He has a voice and a story to tell, but no one will listen.

Oliver makes one final effort to find his voice by accepting a performance at an elementary school. If the students don’t show a profound interest or inspiration from his song, will he go on playing? It is difficult to find passion within yourself when no one appreciates it from the outside. Oliver worries that he is the tree who falls in the forest when no one is there to hear it. Private Lessons asks whether it makes a sound, and if making noise just for yourself is enough to sustain your passion.