So, Why Are Piano Recitals Such a Big Deal?

I recently came across a post about all the benefits of piano recitals on a music teacher blog I follow. I decided to copy them down here, because Piano Recitals really are terrific moments for building character, confidence, and pride in hard work and a job well done. But we might not always think about all the potential benefits, even if they are worth considering when you're figuring out how to fit a recital into your family's busy schedule. You can see where I got the list on Teach Piano Today, or just keep scrolling to see it all here. 

"1. Recitals provide a tangible goal to work towards. In having a set date and a pre-planned performance selection, your child learns to manage their practice time and what it feels like to perfect and polish a piece. 

2. Recitals provide an opportunity to feel successful. Learning the piano requires many, many hours of solo practice. Performing gives your child the recognition they deserve for their hard-work

3. Recitals provide an opportunity for you to show your child that you value their involvement in music. Setting aside time in your busy life to attend a recital supports your children and their peers and shows your child that your family values music. 

4. Recitals provide a chance for your children (and you!) to reflect upon where they’ve “come from” when watching beginning students. Progress at the piano can sometimes feel slow, but watching younger students perform reminds your children of the gains they have made and motivates them to continue to progress. 

5. Recitals provide a chance for your children (and you!) to see “where they’ll go” when watching more advanced students. There are few things more motivating to a piano student than watching their peers perform. They get to hear pieces that they will enjoy playing in the future, see more advanced technique first-hand and experience the pride that comes from becoming proficient at the piano. 

6. Recitals provide a chance for your extended family to be involved in your child’s piano education. Athletes get all the glory… everyone comes to watch soccer games but no one really heads over to watch a piano practice session! Involving grandparents and aunties and uncles in the recital audience gives your child an opportunity to share their hard work with the ones they love

7. Recitals provide a chance for your child to experience nervousness… and to realize that those feelings are okay. We like to protect our children from feeling uncomfortable, but in “real life” these feelings are part-and-parcel of being human. Early experiences with successfully conquering nerves gives children confidence

8. Recitals give you the opportunity to provide genuine and heart-felt praise. Bring on the photos and videos and big hugs and flushed-face smiles. Clap enthusiastically. Let your child know just how much you recognize their efforts and watch their commitment to piano lessons soar. 

9. Recitals provide a chance for your child to practice public speaking and to gain confidence in front of a group; two skills that will serve your child well in many other areas of his or her life. Speaking and performing in a safe environment means that your child gains important experience in front of a crowd. The earlier these experiences happen, the easier it becomes for your child as they enter adolescence and adulthood. 

10. Recitals provide an opportunity for your child to get to know his or her peers who are also taking lessons. Making these connections helps to build community within a studio and helps your child to feel as though he or she belongs which results in increased interest in lessons. 

 11. Recitals give your children the chance to hear live music. Young children rarely attend a lot of live concerts… and piano recitals are a wonderful place for your child to hear a wide variety of music. Nothing can replace the “live music experience” and when your child is an active participant in the event, it’s even more rewarding! 

 12. Recitals provide an opportunity for you to sit back and marvel at the pride-inducing sight of your own child making beautiful music. Piano practice is often done amongst a busy household with siblings, pets, vacuums, dishwashers and doorbells. It’s rare that you have the opportunity to focus only on your child and the music they are making. These moments matter." 

In reading through these points, I couldn't help but remember some of my best and worst performances over the years, and the foundations they laid for me. Like the time, at age 9 or 10, when I couldn't even remember the first notes of my piece for a church performance, and learned some difficult lessons about necessary preparation and poise in the face of unexpected challenges. Or a recital in my freshman year of high school, during which a very young sister of one of my fellow students wanted to get up and dance in the aisle during my performance. I still remember my mom commenting afterwards, "if someone wants to get up and dance, you know you got it right," and I realized that performing isn't just about getting all the parts of the song hammered out correctly, it's about your audience and how you can create something that moves them. 

 So, as we prepare for this upcoming Recital, remember all of the wonderful groundwork that is being laid as your kids take to the stage before a supportive audience of teachers, families and peers.