DON’T Skip The Recital! 5 Reasons Why Students Need Them.

Students need music lesson recitals, this article will help outline why and how recitals are necessary

Music Teacher
Recitals are good for your soul!

Recital time is upon us. The next 2 months will be filled with song picking, practicing, nerves, practicing, learning and re-learning how to bow, practicing, anticipation, and…practicing! Some kids really look forward to recitals and some dread this time of the year. Whichever way your student leans, I think we should all agree that recitals are hugely beneficial and part of the whole point of music lessons.

Huge Benefits

So why are some teachers and parents so casual about this performance? “Do you want to do the recital this year? Let me know when you decide!” No thanks. How about “The recital is May 17th. Make it a priority”. It might be a pain for the teachers to have to be there and to the parents to have to spend a chunk of their Saturday listening to strangers children perform, but to the kids it’s a big event and one with huge benefits. Let’s make it an expectation instead of an option! 5 Reasons why we can’t let students skip the recital:

Music Lesson Recitals

  1. Overcome stage fright sooner- That seems impossible. Stage fright for many people, including me, is an intense anxiety that seems insurmountable. Performing music regularly helps tremendously! If we start them performing young, then maybe when they are 12 and about to play a chair test in beginner orchestra, they won’t freeze up and fail miserably. Maybe they will have normal jitters instead of sheer terror. I can honestly say that after many performances, competitions, and chair tests since the age of 8, I can now (mostly) put away my nerves and focus on the music.
  2. See other kids perform, mistakes and all- I like to ask my students which performance they liked best at the lesson after recitals. I think it’s interesting and I’m usually surprised. It’s not ever who I selected to be the “finale” of the recital, usually the most advanced student. It’s often someone in the middle who made plenty of mistakes. Maybe even the student who had to stop and start over. When kids witness other kids making mistakes and realizing the world doesn’t end, I think it’s a good lesson. I can say all day “don’t worry about making a mistake. We all make mistakes. If one happens just keep going” but when they see it first hand and see that the audience claps even louder for them, they learn that recitals really are more about fun than perfection.
  3. Show off a year of hard work- students need to have a goal in mind for their work. In school they have tests, report cards, and graduating…In music we have chair tests and performances. Being able to perform what you’ve learned gives them a sense of accomplishment and it gives the grandparents a good photo shoot opportunity and bragging rights.
  4. Recital preparations are like no other- Students don’t prepare for a recital in the same way they do for a lesson or even a chair test. When they have a giant audience to look forward to, they magically find tons of practice time that somehow eluded them before. They practice more, harder, and better than any other time. So much progress can be made in those few months.
  5. Recitals are hugely memorable- I can remember every detail surrounding my childhood recitals and I have a sad excuse for long term memory. I remember my hair, my outfit, how well I played, the pieces I played, where we went to celebrate afterwards, who attended…everything. I also remember the one I bombed big time and even though I was horrified then, I learned things that day that I reflect on when I’m preparing for performances as an adult. Let (or make) your kids make these memories!

3 thoughts on “DON’T Skip The Recital! 5 Reasons Why Students Need Them.

  1. It’s good to know that witnessing other kids make mistakes at recitals helps kids to feel more comfortable with performing and recognize that mistakes aren’t the end of the world. My wife and I would like to enroll our kids in music lessons so that they can be more well rounded as they grow up. We’ll be sure to keep this information in mind as they prepare for any recitals that they may have.

  2. I don’t have stage fright. I can talk in front of a huge audience about whatever it is I have to. I don’t like recitals or performing so because of this I have quit dance, quit singing lessons, and quit guitar. If I could just go to those classes for the learning and then not have to be pressured for the performance I wouldn’t have to quit. It is sad. I love to dance, want to learn to sing better and want to learn to play the guitar better. Can’t that be something too? There are others like me.

    1. Absolutely Karen, I think there are lots of people like you. And learning for the joy of learning is fantastic. This article trys to show why as music students we benefit from recitals. We still benefit from studying music without them too.

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