Each year, about this time, music teachers around the world prepare their students for recital and Shelly Davis Piano Studio is no exception. The question is WHY?
I can’t speak for other teachers but I’ll use this post to explain why I think a formal spring recital is important along with more details about the way my studio recitals are conducted.
First the why: I believe one of the best reasons for a recital is simply the enjoyment of music. We often listen to music passively while driving in the car or working on other projects, so to set aside an hour to give our undivided attention to music is a gift, not only for the student, but also for each audience member.
In addition to celebrating the beauty of music, a formal spring recital is just that – formal. It provides an opportunity to reinforce all the manners parents want their children to learn and practice as civilized human beings.
- Sit still and quiet while others are performing.
- Give your full attention.
- Encourage the efforts of others.
- Applaud their efforts.
- Say ‘thank you’ with a bow when the audience compliments you with applause.
- Put away the cell phone for a while.
One final ‘why’ is for the student. Preparing for a recital increases their attention to detail. They work harder to master their piece to be able to perform it as accurately and musically as possible. Students often experience butterflies in their stomach leading up to a public performance. I believe this is healthy and that it’s good for them to learn how to deal with that feeling of being nervous in this smaller, supportive environment. They will find themselves in many similar situations as they grow up and I am happy to give them tools to not only manage their anxiety but to overcome it and use that heightened awareness to help them succeed.
Where and when is the recital? The recital is held in the University of Texas at Tyler’s Braithwaite Recital Hall with their lovely Steinway grand piano. SDPS annual spring recitals are conducted on the first Monday and Tuesday of May. The 2016 recitals will be May 2 and May 3 starting at 7:00 pm. With each student performing one piece, we start with the youngest beginning students and progress up to the more advanced students. (Younger performers are welcome to sit with parents after their performance.) I do encourage students to memorize their recital piece but memory is not required. At the conclusion of the recital, a short awards presentation will take place. Students will be recognized for their achievement in various piano activities throughout the year. The whole event will be concluded by 8:30 pm.
Who can come to the Spring Recital? Anyone! SDPS uses the beautiful Braithwaite Recital Hall (pictured above) on the campus of UT Tyler. The hall seats 161 persons so there is plenty of room to invite friends and family. The more people students have in their fan club, the more secure they will feel on the stage.
What should my child wear to the recital? Please, parents and students, dress in your “Sunday Best”. A formal recital deserves more formal, dressy attire. A word of caution, however, the wood floor of the recital hall is a little slippery. Students should wear sensible shoes and they should practice once or twice wearing whatever they will wear at the recital. Higher heels or a suit coat could cause unnecessary restrictions of movement at the piano.
How can I help my child be successful at the Spring Recital? Parents, you are your child’s biggest cheerleader. Tell them how much you enjoy hearing them play. Tell them what your favorite part is in their recital piece. Skype or Facetime Grandma and Grandpa – they are excellent sources of encouragement! Create a mini home concert where your student dresses in their recital clothes and performs their piece, including a bow before and after they play. Record them performing their piece; the awareness of a recording simulates the same jitters as the actual recital.
While the spring piano recital is, I’m sure, only one of many events your student has on their calendar, I hope you will agree that is an important one. I’m looking forward to celebrating your student and their beautiful music at the upcoming recital!