The time comes upon us either in the fall, winter, or spring for performances. Often studio recitals offer the only opportunity for a person to perform as soloist.
Why are these important, why are they offered and what can they possibly teach us the is valuable for a lifetime of fun making music?
After all, are not these often faux formal affairs with rules imposed by the teacher about dress, or behavior, and unnecessarily nerve wracking, and rather superfluous considering the amount of time dedicated to the weekly lesson and practice anyway? Are these affairs not icing on the cake and really something put up by the teacher to demonstrate the successes or failures of the studio: a sort of obligatory inconsequential nicety? Again, isn’t long term learning that raises to the level of importance that a student should consider the recital as an absolute must, just hyperbole? Instead, are not recitals an extra that can be blown off in the case of other demands? A baubble thrill?
No! To your own peril, don’t ever go there.
This is one of the hardest lessons, or concepts for students to grasp, and even harder for parents, when involved.
The grand scheme of things just never seems to require a recital. Or, does it? Can recitals be misunderstood?
These performances hold hidden, long terms lessons not apparent on the surface, and participation and attendance are in no small measure critical to our development of life skills.
So, how is this possible, without hyperbole?
Here is a list of words, that give you an idea or at least a starting point for understanding this.
Commitment, Perseverance, Respect, Sociability, Curtesy, Dedication, Performance, Accomplishment, Preparation, Long Term Learning, Awareness, Performance Anxieties, Attitude, Determination, Procedural Memory, Implicit Memory, Cooperation, etc.
When a commitment is made, we commit with a conviction to be present at the recital, prepared to play for the recital and prepared to listen to others perform on the recital. We follow through and perform for the same reasons. Anything less diminishes both your experience, and the synergistic and helpful experience for others. Later on in life, an employer will chose those who played in recital over those who backed out.
There are really no other means to explore the comprehensive nature of this skill, courage and confidence building experience than to follow through and participate.
To withdraw from the commitment is not only uncivil to others, it discounts the student. These are big emotional events and our behavior, however we choose what to do, will effect us for a lifetime of memory and example. So, the next time you consider pulling out, think carefully: do not!
There is a reason “the show must go on.” Life does; choose to be with it.