Information about recitals, contests, festivals, auditions
and the benefits of participation.
- Parents are always welcome during lessons.
- Comfortable waiting area.
A recital is a concert given by a one, or more, teacher's students. A student plays one or more pieces as a solos, duets, or in groups. Students of all levels perform at recitals. There is no judge at a recital. The settings are usually small. In attendance are parents, friends, family and the teacher(s). The atmosphere is relaxed and supportive. They usually occur once or twice a year: late spring and winter.
A contest is an event in which many teachers' students compete for one or more prizes (money, ribbons, plaques, trophies, scholarships, etc.). The students are usually divided by age group. The winners (first, second, third, honorable mention) are chosen by judges (usually non-participating teachers) based on the contestants performances. The settings are much larger than recitals and many more students participate. Often, contests require that students perform from memory.
Like a contest, a festival or audition is a judged event where students are rated individually for their performances. Unlike a contest it usually occurs in a private setting. Sometimes, the term "festival" is used to mean "contest."
The advantages to encouraging the participation in recitals is to help students:
- establish definite goals and to work toward them. Having a upcoming scheduled event to work toward provides incentive and motivation to the student. Those students who desire to perform in scheduled events practice more and learn more.
- gain more self-confidence. By participating in recitals students prove to themselves that he can perform under a bit of pressure.
- share their musical experiences with family and friends, as well as receive recognition and congratulations from them and teacher.
- understand how their performances compare with students of their own age (for students who wish to perform in contests, festivals or auditions).
- learn the etiquette of performance settings.
The final answer depends on the child. Some children can't wait to get out there and perform; they could not be talked out of it if you tried. Other children are a bit more shy and need some time to find themselves; perhaps they need more mileage with these new experiences. As a parent, it is important not to force children to do things that is contradictory to their personality. What may have been an initial interest in learning music can soon be turned into a chore or a dreaded upcoming event.
No, it is not mandatory for any student to participate in a public performance, however, I do gently encourage my students to participate. I discuss with them the advantages to performing along with their peers and sharing their hard work with their family and friends, but I respect any student's choice if they do not wish to participate.