I apologize for my lack of postings recently, but I've had a super busy 2 weeks and have our church musical this weekend, so my time has been very limited. I haven't even had time to put up my own Christmas tree! But I did want to share that our recital went beautifully last Friday night! I'm planning to post some pictures soon, but thought I would first share a few thoughts about the night.
1. My students did a wonderful job and even though some of them were very nervous, they all played well and felt good about it afterwards! I had them get to the church one half hour early and actually took them all down to my choir rehearsal room and did some silly things with them to try and calm the nerves (This helped a lot!). We then practiced singing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" so that we could sing it to their parents at the end of the recital.
2. During the recital, I talked about each of my students before they played. Part of what I shared with them was the length of time each student had been taking lessons. Many of my parents commented on this, letting me know how much they appreciated the information because it helped them to enjoy each student more as they played.
3. Each student felt a great sense of pride at their accomplishment. Because so many of them were playing in a recital for the very first time, it was important to me that they feel really good about the experience. We worked on each song in lessons for quite a few weeks, but I also allowed them to be part of the repertoire selection process. I worked with each student to pick pieces they felt good about playing as well as ones that I thought would highlight their abilities. Because my students had some say, they were also willing to take ownership in the results. They were really excited to perform and it showed!
4. I fully remember my own experiences/nervousness before the many recitals I participated in. While performing isn't for everyone, it does teach valuable lessons to anyone. I was always required to memorize my music for recitals and because that was (and still is) a difficult thing for me, my anxiety level was very high leading up to each recital. Looking back, I can say that it challenged me, but I also know that my performances would have been substantially better had I been allowed to use the music. My goal with this recital was to show my students that performing can be fun and that they each had the ability to do it well. Memorization was optional for them. I realize that some may disagree with me on this, but for my students this choice proved to be the right one. They all performed extremely well and I was very proud of each of them!
If you are planning a recital this month, I hope it's a wonderful success as well!