It is a few days before the recital and perhaps I can pass on a few tips to the handful of new students playing for the first time. And for those of you who have attended year after year, thank-you for preparing your pianist and making the recital an important event.
I look at performing at a recital as pay back time. When we play for our families we show honor for the money invested in our progress and give joy to a whole room of people. It is not easy to support a child for years of practice with the hope that they hang in long enough to master an instrument. I try to point out to my students how fortunate they are to have an opportunity to learn and be encouraged on all fronts.
You can prepare your child by talking positively about their performance and give them many small recitals at home. Some students will feel anxious and vulnerable. Please don't deny their honest feelings but talk about how performing only gets easier when you do it. Mistakes happen and they are allowed without recriminations. I try to create a relaxed atmosphere at the recital and most students come through splendidly. You don't need to come early since adrenaline mounts just before, but arriving on time helps to ease tension.
May I suggest that you look over the program with your child and note if they recognize any of the pieces. Perhaps you can point out some pieces that they should really listen to so that their attention moves to the performance of other students.
After the recital we share treats in the hall behind the chapel and this is a time when each student can come down from the high of performance. Again, they may want to give some praise and feedback to other performers whose pieces inspired them.
I feel so lucky to have a venue where I am not obligated to pay a fee for rental. This allows me to make the recital free of charge for you.
You may want to look at some pictures of past recitals on the archived blog posts labeled Recital Time.
See you at the big event!