Jing-Mei's performance in the talent show is disastrous in "Two Kinds" by Amy Tan.
For a whole year Jing-Mei halfheartedly practices her piano skills under the tutelage of her deaf, myopic music teacher. She is quick to realize she can be lazy and inaccurate while she works with him. Unfortunately, her mother arranges for her to take part in a talent show. Having high expectations for her daughter, and in her excitement, she invites all of her friends from the Joy Luck Club to the performance.
For the talent show I was to play a piece called "Pleading Child," from Schumann's Scenes from Childhood. It was a simple, moody piece that sounded more difficult than it was.
Jing-Mei dressed in a beautiful white dress for the performance and she felt confident in her piano skills until she played the first wrong note. Her performance was horrible as she played one wrong note after another. After her dreadfully embarrassing recital, Jing-Mei feels faint and is overcome with embarrassment as she overhears a young boy express his feelings about her talent to his mother.
By then I saw my mother's face, her stricken face. The audience clapped weakly, and I walked back to my chair, with my whole face quivering as I tried not to cry, I heard a little boy whisper loudly to his mother. "That was awful," and mother whispered "Well, she certainly tried."
After the performance, Jing-Mei and her mother have an argument that creates a permanent rift between the two.