It’s recital season… and that means you’re busy planning, prepping and doing up programs. But are your participation numbers a little less than you’d hoped? Do you have piano students (and parents) who are opting out of your recital?
Well… not for long!
I have never explicitly stated that my piano recitals are mandatory but historical attendance figures would make you think so. And this is because I make a point of letting my piano parents know that a recital is so much more than just a chance for a iPhone video of their child at the piano!
I know the immense benefits that a recital provides to my students, but because the parents of my piano students don’t always realize the far-reaching effects that a recital performance can provide, I share with them my 12 benefits of piano recital participation…
Note: Feel free to copy and paste the following points into emails, newsletters, texts… whatever it takes to pump up recital participation.
12 Reasons Why Recitals Rock!
1. Recitals provide a tangible goal to work towards. In having a set date and a pre-planned performance selection, your child learns how to manage their practice time and what it feels like to polish and perfect a piece.
2. Recitals provide an opportunity to feel successful. Learning the piano requires many, many hours of solo practice. Performing gives your child the recognition they deserve for their hard-work.
3. Recitals provide an opportunity for you to show your child that you value their involvement in music. Setting aside time in your busy life to attend a recital supports your children and their peers and shows your child that your family values music.
4. Recitals provide a chance for your children (and you!) to reflect upon where they’ve “come from” when watching beginning students. Progress at the piano can sometimes feel slow, but watching younger students perform reminds your children of the gains they have made and motivates them to continue to progress.
5. Recitals provide a chance for your children (and you!) to see “where they’ll go” when watching more advanced students. There are few things more motivating to a piano student than watching their peers perform. They get to hear pieces that they will enjoy playing in the future, see more advanced technique first-hand and experience the pride that comes from becoming proficient at the piano.
6. Recitals provide a chance for your extended family to be involved in your child’s piano education. Athletes get all the glory… everyone comes to watch soccer games but no one really heads over to watch a piano practice session! Involving grandparents and aunties and uncles in the recital audience gives your child an opportunity to share their hard work with the ones they love.
7. Recitals provide a chance for your child to experience nervousness… and to realize that those feelings are okay. We like to protect our children from feeling uncomfortable, but in “real life” these feelings are part-and-parcel of being human. Early experiences with successfully conquering nerves gives children confidence.
8. Recitals give you the opportunity to provide genuine and heart-felt praise. Bring on the photos and videos and big hugs and flushed-face smiles. Clap enthusiastically. Let your child know just how much you recognize their efforts and watch their commitment to piano lessons soar.
9. Recitals provide a chance for your child to practice public speaking and to gain confidence in front of a group; two skills that will serve your child well in many other areas of his or her life. Speaking and performing in a safe environment means that your child gains important experience in front of a crowd. The earlier these experiences happen, the easier it becomes for your child as they enter adolescence and adulthood.
10. Recitals provide an opportunity for your child to get to know his or her peers who are also taking lessons. Making these connections helps to build community within a studio and helps your child to feel as though he or she belongs which results in increased interest in lessons.
11. Recitals give your children the chance to hear live music. Young children rarely attend a lot of live concerts… and piano recitals are a wonderful place for your child to hear a wide variety of music. Nothing can replace the “live music experience” and when your child is an active participant in the event it’s even more rewarding!
12. Recitals provide an opportunity for you to sit back and marvel at the pride-inducing sight of your own child making beautiful music! Piano practice is often done amongst a busy household with siblings, pets, vacuums, dishwashers and doorbells. It’s rare that you have the opportunity to focus only on your child and the music they are making. These moments matter.
It’s a Team Effort
Teachers can also play a large part in making the recital experience accessible and enjoyable for everyone. Well prepared students, a great venue, a comfortable duration and lots of recital fun can make all the difference in your recital participation. With a team effort of teacher and parent, you can make your recitals a “do not miss” event on everyone’s calendar!