Becoming proficient in an instrument is a long and complex journey. It involves refining fine motor skills, developing listening skills, and being able to adjust in an instant -- and know how to adjust. Performances and recitals are an important component to the learning process. Some students thrive in it, and others dread it. Here are 10 reasons why they are so important.
1. It's an important milestone in your progress. It's a chance to feel successful, and feel proud of all of your hard work in polishing, perfecting, and memorizing your piece.
2. Hearing more advanced students is a huge motivator. Enjoy listening to all kinds of pieces that you will get to play in the future. Did you hear a piece that you really want to learn? Make a note in your program and tell your teacher about it at your next lesson.
3. Hearing younger students is motivating, too! Is someone playing a familiar tune that felt really challenging to you at the time, but now seems easy? In just 1-2 years, you will look back on the piece you are working on right now, and it may seem easy, as well.
4. Students practice differently. When you know you have a recital approaching, you have a deadline, an end goal, and something tangible to work towards. You'll be more focused on details, polish the tricky spots, and work hard to perfect your music.
5. It gives parents and extended family a chance to show their support and engagement. Share your hard work with the people you love! It also gives grandparents and aunts and uncles a chance to see all of your progress and let you know how proud they are of you.
6. It's an opportunity to attend a live concert, and learn concert etiquette. For some students, this may be your very first time attending a live concert. You'll learn when to clap and how to be a polite and attentive audience member. If this is also your first time performing, you'll learn how to bow and show poise onstage.
7. You'll learn time management, conquering difficulties, and other important life lessons. You know the recital date is approaching, so the time to practice and work hard is now. That line of music that tricks you every time you get to it? Fix it today -- and I promise, it will feel GREAT once you've mastered it :)
8. You'll gain valuable experience in front of a crowd. Feeling nervous and performing under pressure from time to time is part of being an adult -- and a human being! Recitals are a great opportunity to learn to manage nervousness, and what better place than in front of a warm and accepting audience of family members and friends. Having successful experiences under these conditions builds confidence.
9. Recovery from mistakes. A mistake does not mean a failure. A mistake during a performance is a very normal thing, and the best thing you can do is find your way through it, and simply move on.
10. You may learn something about yourself. Trust all of your hard work, trust yourself, and have fun! There's a good chance you'll learn that you're a really good performer, you CAN do it, and you enjoyed the experience more than you thought!
What are you curious about?
Why do we memorize music? Why was Mozart so important? How does a piano work? Look for answers to these questions and more in my monthly blog. Let me know if you're interested in learning more about something you don't see here: Contact