When you sign up to learn a musical instrument for the first time, performing before an audience might be the last thing on your mind. That, however, is the ultimate goal and the reason music teachers always talk about recitals on Day 1 of your music lesson.
Recitals are a big deal in music. They are an important event for every musician, and more so for beginners. It is essentially a graduation ceremony: you will perform onstage for the very first time together with your classmates or fellow beginners. Crossing this milestone means you’ve mastered the basics of your chosen musical instrument and are now ready for more advanced lessons.
Just how important are these showcases? Below are reasons recitals play a huge role in students’ progression from beginners to intermediate music players.
Recitals Give Beginners a Clear, Achievable Goal
Music workshops and classes culminate in a recital. It is the “big event” students and their families and friends look forward to at least once a year.
Everything you learn as a beginner will lead up to the moment when you will perform on the stage. You and your teacher will decide on the musical piece you will perform based on your strengths and preferences. Recital dates are fixed; and as the date draws nearer, your lessons will be focused on mastering your instrument and learning to play your piece perfectly on performance night.
Hard Work is Recognized in Recitals
The students are the stars of the show during recitals. Everyone receives recognition, not just the best performers. Sure, the more skilled students might be placed at the front, but everyone will have their turn in the spotlight. Knowing that this will happen motivates most students to be more attentive and work hard at each practice session.
It’s unconventional, but some music schools also hand out awards to recognize the achievements of their students. Some awards can also be competitive. Prestigious music and art schools, for example, offer scholarships to the standout performers to motivate students to give their one hundred percent.
Recitals Build Up Beginners’ Confidence
Most beginners get jittery at the thought of standing onstage. It’s normal to be nervous before a performance (even experienced performers can feel the same way), but once you’re on the stage, your focus will shift to your instrument and the music. You’ll find that the nerves will slowly go away, and all that’s on your mind is the music you’re playing. You can only experience this epiphany when you get on the recital stage; and when you succeed, you’ll experience a confidence boost that’s unlike any other.
Recitals Develop a Love for Performing
Speaking of epiphanies during onstage performances, there are students who discover that playing a musical instrument is no longer a mere hobby for them but a new-found passion. Many beginners who are older adults, for one, realize that they want to keep performing before audiences even if it’s just for small groups and events in their community.
Recitals give students an immense feeling of accomplishment and joy. Some might want to take things a step further and explore the possibility of becoming a professional musician and play with a touring group.
It’s worth mentioning, too, that some music schools are affiliated with prominent musical ensembles and prestigious institutions, and recitals give students a chance to showcase their musical skills to recruiters.
Doing well on recitals could earn them a spot in auditions to enroll in Ivy League institutions or play with professional symphony orchestras. The Music Connection Conservatory in Chicagoland, for example, has trained students who are now performing with the Illinois Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Opera Chicago, and many other touring bands and chamber groups.
Recitals can, therefore, become gateways for dedicated students to reach their dreams of having a fulfilling musical career.
Recitals Push Students to Develop Admirable Qualities and Transferable Skills
Before we get ahead of ourselves, let us bring the focus back on recitals. In the process of studying your instrument and preparing for your first onstage performance as a beginner, you can develop positive qualities such as discipline and focus. You have a goal, a time frame, and the tools necessary to reach it.
You’ll also learn to acknowledge your weaknesses because only then will you know what habits you need to correct or playing techniques you have to master.
Recitals Develop Respect and Love for Music
As a beginner with zero experience in playing musical instruments, it will take you months to study and master playing an entire musical piece. There will be tedious days and days when you feel like you’re not progressing at all. However, there will also be good days, like when you can finally transition from G to C chords without cringing at the off-key sound or making awkward pauses just so you can adjust your fingers on the guitar strings. The sense of fulfillment from these small triumphs are bound to make you appreciate musicians and music even more.
It’s remarkable how a single performance can bring out some of your best qualities and push you to learn a new skill that can take more years to master. This is the bigger picture that makes recitals a crucial part of a beginner’s journey to learning a musical instrument.