Is your child preparing for a music recital?
Welcome to Practice Corner! Whether a Suzuki book graduation or a full-on studio recital, performances can be a time of celebration, anxiety, and opportunity for your Suzuki kid. Yet the recital prep you do at home can be far more important than the recital itself. The tone we set for performances makes a big difference in setting up a child for success. How can we ease nerves, get familiar with recital routine, and set expectations?
This week we’ll go over creative ways to prepare kids for recitals and ease their nerves.
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How do you prepare your kids for a recital?
We are getting ready for our Spring Recital! Violin, Cello, and Little Notes students will be performing on May 7 at 11 a.m., at Olive Plaza in downtown Eugene. Olive Plaza has been renovating their 1133 Olive St. location, so this will be our first recital with them in a while. Friends and family are welcome to attend, and the recital will be open to Olive Plaza residents.
Violin & Cello Students
During this week you can sign up for your rehearsal time, which will be during the hour prior to the recital. If you have questions about the recital, please let me know during lessons this week, or get in touch.
Little Notes Students
Little Notes students will perform first, and are welcome to stay for as much of the recital as they want afterward. We’ll be doing “Pop Goes the Weasel” and a special Mother’s Day song to our Falling Thirds xylophone tune:
Mom is great, Mom is great.
Come and help us celebrate!
Flowers please, cookies too.
All for Mom, cuz we love you!
No rehearsals are needed for Little Notes, so just arrive a little before. There won’t be a Little Notes class on Sat., May 7. All other Little Notes classes continue as scheduled.
Did you know that recitals are important for babies and toddlers too? Playing in recitals, or even just attending, helps infants and young children in many ways:
- Builds confidence, listening, and social skills
- Engages young children with music
- Shows that it’s okay to feel nervous
- Demonstrates that people’s efforts and hard work are appreciated
- Fosters friendships and builds community
Are you ready for the Fall Recital? Our recital is open to all Suzuki Violin, Suzuki Cello, and Suzuki Little Notes students. Little Notes students will also perform a special song at the beginning of the recital!
We’ll talk about rehearsals and more during lessons and classes, and let me know if you have any questions. See you on Nov. 14!
Is thinking about the recital giving your kids stage fright? World-famous violinist Midori talks about how to deal with stage fright, including one of our favorite tips: practice performance at home.
Attending live performances can be inspiring and motivational. Summer can also be a time of low motivation since lessons are not regular and we don’t have group class. Summer is also a great time to enjoy concerts, because they are often family friendly. Check out these great opportunities for your family:
Eugene Symphony in the Park. A community favorite, join the Eugene Symphony for a free evening concert on July 21 at Cuthbert Ampitheatre. Tickets available starting June 21. Be sure to get them right away. They go fast!
The Oregon Bach Festival holds many free events and youth concerts, such as:
- On the House: Young Chamber Players Thursday, July 12, 2012
- OBF Kids: Buzz and Crow Saturday, July 7, 2012
- OBF Kids: Peter and the Wolf Saturday, July 14, 2012
- “The first family of five siblings ever to all attend the Juilliard School,” The 5 Browns play Thursday, July 12
- Violinist Joshua Bell also plays Eugene, Friday, June 29
Of course, this is just a fraction of the musical events at this year’s OBF. See the Events page for more.
Concerts in the Parks. Parks in the Eugene/Springfield area offer free events and concerts throughout the summer. These are a great way for family and friends to take in an evening’s entertainment and spend time together. See the Eugene, Cascades & Oregon Coast Calendar of Events for concerts and more at a park near you.
Portland! Of course, many of us also spend time in Portland over the summer. Kid-friendly events happen all summer long, all over the city, such as:
- Portland Summer Free for All Concerts in the Park
- Portland Kids’ Weekend Events: June 15-17
Have a musical summer!
Every once and a while (usually around recital time) someone asks me the same question: why do we need to perform?
Some students are very comfortable with performance. Others get nervous. Regular performance can make the difference between a fun experience and a feeling of failure. No matter how a student feels when performing, there are many things to learn and benefit from through performance. These are reasons why we perform and why performance is important:
- Confidence in Front of a Group: Learning how to perform violin or cello in front of a group can also help with speaking skills and group confidence.
- Learning How to Think Fast Under Pressure: While performing, unexpected things happen. Figuring out how to deal with them quickly and not let it affect the rest of the piece is important.
- Practice Performing: Performing only gets harder if you don’t continue to try. Performing regularly is an important factor to make it easier.
- Setting a Goal: Having a performance as a goal often helps push a student into the next level of playing. A performance can be an excellent goal and motivator.
Tips for recital success
When getting ready for a recital or other musical performance, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Try to set up your child for success
- Pick a piece the student is more comfortable and confident with
- Play that piece for as many people (or stuffed animals) that are willing to sit down and listen
- After all the hard work put into learning a piece, it’s nice to get the chance to perform it many times
- Instead of presenting the performance as a test, keep the recital a celebration of hard work. That will bring out your child’s confidence, and their joy of music will show.
That’s why we perform. See you at our next recital!