Thursday, May 6, 2010


Playing in a piano recital can be a wonderful experience for a student or it can be a frightful experience that will give nightsmares for years.  What can a teacher, parent or student do to prepare to make a piano recital a positive experience?  Here are a few hints:

1-PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE-  The best way to remove fear about performing is to be prepared.  Spend as much time as possible praciticing the recital song.  Never just practice a song once.  When you sit down to play a recital song, commit to practicing the song at least 3 times.  Do this as many times a week as possible. You must do something 3 times before it sticks in your brain.  Playing a song once and quitting is like never practicing at all.  Your brain will not retain anything.

2-THIS IS THE PLACE-  Take a student to the recital hall several days ahead and let them practice on the piano that they will be using.  Each piano has its own feel and touch.  Becoming familiar with how the piano feels will also help the student to be calm.

3-ALWAYS ON STAGE-  A student should be encouraged to play his song in front of others before he gets to the recital.  He can play in front of friends and family members.  Have a family recital before the teacher's piano recital so that the student can get used to the feeling of always being on stage.

4-GOING BANANAS-  The minerals in bananas are known to have a calming effect.  Bananas are known to even lower blood pressure.  Make sure that your student eats a banana about 1/2 an hour before the performance.
5-BRIBERY- I never had a problem bribing children to help them have the courage to hang in there for the rough road that leads to a piano recital.  The reward could be a family trip to Baskin Robbins after the recital. It could also be cash, presents or a shopping spree at the local music store.

6--FOLLOW UP- Continue to encourage your student to play their recital song even after them that recital.  Give strong positive feed back even if you have heard this particular song too many times before.  Encourage the student to continue to play the song even after the recital. 

A positive recital experience is a great way to build self confidence and self esteem.  Playing in a recital is the best natural 'high'.

-Cari Horton

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