One of the highlights of this school year was the spring recitals held at the Community Life Center at the Salem First Baptist Church on June 12th and 13th. With 45 students participating, our audiences received hours of pleasurable music. Ranging from preschool to adulthood, our varying ages and personalities present many genres of music. Our audience had the pleasure to hear classical selections from composers including Brahms and Mozart, as well as a wide array of popular music.
Recitals bring encouragement to students, pleasure for the audience, and joy to the teachers! I have such fun watching the students chose their favorite songs and work over several months to perfect them. Oftentimes I am blown away by how the pressure of an upcoming recital all of a sudden propels students to amazing achievement levels. Family supporters sometimes comment that “I didn’t know she played that well!” Studying the piano can be a lonely activity which is why recitals are such an important component of taking piano lessons.
Children are children. Sometimes they’re motivated, sometimes they care more about reading the words on the page and looking at the pictures then playing the music. My role as a teacher many times mimics that of a cheerleader. Recitals make my job a little easier. Students work for months perfecting and perfecting a song they like. While I do let students chose their recital songs, I tend to present to them choices that are bound to challenge their current playing level. I share my excitement over their progress and how it’s going to be so awesome to hear it at the recital. I tell students how the audience is going to be amazed at how well they play. Students are encouraged as their performances display the effort they put in.
For obvious reasons, students spend most of the time at the piano without an audience. Recitals provide an opportunity for family members and friends to observe and enjoy music. It’s my belief that music doesn’t completely fulfill it’s purpose if it isn’t shared. Instilling this quality in students gives music more meaning and purpose.
I won’t deny that I love recitals for selfish reasons as well. I experience the satisfaction of watching the results of my teaching as students perform. I look forward to playing duets with the students and put my heart and soul into making the student sound fantastic! I love interpreting my duet part in a way that matches whatever music happens to be in my heart at the time. The student’s part stays the same; however, my part becomes changing colors that strike unpredictable strings in my heart.