"Money can't buy everything/money can't make you a king/money may not bring success/money can't buy happiness/But of one thing I am sure/money doesn't make you poor/money doesn't make you sad/money can't be all that bad!"
These were the lyrics of the song I'm 99% certain I played at my very first piano recital. I was in 6th grade and proud that while it was tentative, I could finally play a song on the piano using both hands at the same time. My memory has long since discarded most of the recital, although I can recall experiencing many feelings. My cheeks warmed as I watched my crush, Tony, a blue eyed 6th grader, play a simplified, but impressive version of "The Entertainer." I felt both jealous and inspired upon reading in the program that my friend, Erin had arranged her own piece just for the recital. My own performance time at the piano is murky, but I remember very clearly liking what I felt when I stood to bow. The audience clapped and smiled at me. There was powerful energy in a room full of people who wanted me to do well. I felt pride in my accomplishment. I'd just done something scary, but had been rewarded by it.
My students know how much I value performance and that I will always encourage them to perform/audition any opportunity they get. This is why I believe recitals are so important to the growth of students at any age or level.
The performer and the audience share a powerful circular energy. Each party matches or amplifies the energy that delights the other in a beautiful partnership.
Musicians connect and inspire each other. Their family and friends connect in a fun new context.
Much work must go into the preparation for a performance. A musician's level of attention to detail, musicality and presentation are all enhanced when they are preparing to perform in public.
The mental and physical preparation necessary to venture of one's comfort zone is a skill that when exercised, becomes stronger and able to take on bigger and more exciting challenges.
Growing Your Confidence Muscles
The fantastic thing about performing is that it doesn't have to be flawless to achieve confidence! The confidence comes the moment one decides to do something and then follows through. "Don't pretend to be anything or anyone-simply take action. Do one small brave thing and then the next one will be easier and soon confidence will flow." (Katty Kay "The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance")
Our studio's annual Holiday Concert will happen virtually this Saturday night. What the audience will hear and see from my students is not just a 2-minute Christmas carol. It is hundreds of minutes of messing up and trying again. Of frustration, but never defeat. A love of music and an eagerness to share it.