Recital Reflections

After the Recital Reflections


The recital is finished and now it is time to reflect on this event.  I want to congratulate all of the performers on their excellent performances.  I was so proud of your accomplishments both musically and your performance skills.  It is so fun to see your growth from year to year.  Thank you also to the families and friends that came to support your musical endeavors and also for the help both for the recital and the reception that followed.

I feel that recitals are such an important part of a musical education.  I want to take a little time to reflect on all that you learn from a successful musical performance.  It is interesting that much of what we learn will benefit you in so many other ways beyond your musical successes. I will discuss the musical value of performing skills.  The implications for daily living are huge!

In preparing for a recital you have a tangible goal to work toward.  A performance gives you a precise time line and you must figure out how to structure your work so that you are prepared for your best musical performance.  You must learn efficient use of time so that you can be ready for the event.  Through your hard work you also come to appreciate all that goes into a successful musical experience and you have a newfound appreciation for performing artists of all disciplines. 

 As we are practicing we learn many new skills beyond our usual practice routine.  In addition to working efficiently, we also have many musical considerations.  In addition to our technical preparation, you have to analyze the music to figure out what the composer was trying to say so you can convey that meaning to your listening audience.  Sometimes this comes from different marks the composer has placed in the music, or from a title of a piece or even our imagination of a mood or character that helps the music come to life for us.  As we are performing we become aware of the importance of telling a story in sound.  We also learn the difference between practicing and “making music.” It is a valuable skill to experience what it means to work to “polish” a piece for performance.  We also learn how to connect with our audience.  Music is for sharing!

 The act of performing helps you build confidence.  We can gain confidence in how we handle ourselves by being in front of a group. Throughout life you will have many occasions that will make you nervous and you must learn strategies that help you cope with those nerves. It is always interesting that the parts that we felt so comfortable with in our practice sometimes suffer in performance.   What a valuable lesson in our digital age to realize that we all are human and mistakes happen!  Ah, but is how we recover from those mistakes that we can learn so much.

I often talk about recitals as being a measure of accomplishment from year to year.  Performing should remind you of the goals you have attained and motivate you to continue working hard.  What a sense of accomplishment when you have done your best!  Is is also fun to sit in the audience and hear some of your old favorite pieces from your studies.  At a recital you get to hear a wide variety of repertoire of many musical styles and sometimes you will even hear a “must learn” composition.  It is also motivating to hear more advanced students perform and realize that with hard work you can also achieve that goal.

 After your performance it is so rewarding to receive recognition for your hard work.  It is also important that we learn how to accept compliments and give a gracious reply.   We also learn the value of the arts and how our family values music.  We also need to take an appraisal of our performance and acknowledge what worked and how we could make it better next time we perform.  

Again, I am so proud of all of your achievements in the recital and throughout the year.  Thank you for your hard work.  I hope that you are inspired to keep striving for that musical “perfection” and that you will continue to pursue all that you can learn from developing good performance skills. 

Kathy Charles