This month my students will be performing for our spring recital. I am very excited to be able to come together and listen to live music. We have a fun theme with most of my students singing with a ukulele or harpsichord accompaniment. I have found this switch from the piano to be wonderful (and will likely rotate it every couple of years). The students need to be more aware of their horizontal melody and legato phrasing do to the rhythmic nature of both of these instruments. Also, I have found that the students do not feel the need to over sing. This has opened up some of the voices in my studio to be more vibrant and less weighted! I am honored to work in a community that gives access to a wonderful ukulele musician and pianists who are excited to accompany on the harpsichord. Not to mention a board member who made the harpsichord for Omaha Conservatory of Music.
Along with the theme of my recital I want to explain how excited I am to write about this coming recital. I have been thinking about the value of performing this year and have been able to articulate better the 'why' behind it all. How many of you have students or children that do not understand why they should perform? Here are responses I have gotten about an upcoming recital:
"I do not like to perform"
"I do not want to look selfish or show-off-y"
"I will mess up"
"I do not like the song that I am most ready with"
"There is no need, I'm not wanting to be a professional"
...there are more - leave a comment with some that you have used or heard.
However, when we consider the benefits of singing a recital we can find value in this experience regardless of your personal goals in life. (Know that I never require or force a student to perform, but I do highly encourage it). The value can often be described and the desire will come to try it out.
Obvious Recital Benefits
- sharing your song and communication
- giving a gift of your song to thank someone
- practice performing and storytelling
- completing a song
- opportunity to collaborate
A little less obvious benefits of performing at a recital
- practice focus
- working through adrenaline
- encouragement and confidence building
- body awareness and poise
- strengthens your community
In order to prepare well for recitals, memorizing is smart - this will give you an upper hand on your preparation, bringing confidence and artistry to your performance. Most of my students did recital memory checks last month!
Choosing a song that excites you is helpful. But as long as you go through a process to connect with your song's character and can put on the song's 'Hat' you can be successful in communicating.
Mini-Recitals leading up to your performance are very helpful! Also, if you have someone in particular that you are concerned with hearing you for the first time at the recital - try to set up a pre-performance for them. I have a wonderful story about how I learned this! I sang for the first time in front of my in-laws and I was so concerned with what they thought I completely forgot to put on my character hat and honestly my technique hat and did not show my best performance. Had I sang for them prior to a very public performance I would have been more successful. This is why I always encourage my students to perform for their loved ones prior to the recital! It lightens the load of the public performance a bit.
My students are always so fearless and brave! Here are just a couple!!
I hope you all find a time to perform your song so you can enjoy some of the valuable skills of singing at a recital.
Please add to this conversation and share (in the comments) your favorite lessons learned performing.
Keep on Singing!!!