I love the way Summer Brackhan of parenting and health site Nourishing Souls talks about music recitals:
“A music recital is kind of like life. You have to show up. You have to be willing to stick your neck out. You have to be willing to be vulnerable in front of lots of people. You have to know that sharing with others is more important than the fear of not being perfect. You have to see the bigger picture. You have to realize that you are part of something that matters beyond your own fears.”
How beautiful is that. Life is full of times when we have to put ourselves out there, when we have to take risks. That’s never an easy thing to do, but like anything else, the more we do it the better and more comfortable we become. Music recitals may seem like a big scary thing, but they’re secretly a very safe space for students to experiment and learn. If the recital goes great, that’s fantastic! If there are small errors in a piece, or even some slightly larger ones, well, the risk isn’t actually all that high. It was one performance. So what.
Students get such a massive confidence boost out of performing for friends and families, I can’t imagine our studios without our recitals. And recitals give so much more than just some performance experience. Preparing for a recital helps students learn how to practice the details. They aren’t just working learning a new piece of music, but they’re also working to refine it. A recital asks a student to pay extra-close attention to every element of a song. The goal isn’t a perfect performance, it’s noticing all the nifty details that a student might otherwise overlook, down to the smallest bits of breath control or dynamic changes. Preparing for and performing at a recital ultimately helps students practice better and get to know music on a more exciting, intimate level.