This is the time of year when many of our studios are preparing for recitals. While lots of great recital preparation is done in lessons and group, it’s always a great idea to supplement home practicing. Here are some ideas for parents!
Listen! Even when a child has polished and memorized their piece, listening can solidify their mental recording, get them comfortable with the accompaniment part, and help them feel more secure. It is also a great way to double‐check bowings and notes so your child’s habits stay correct between lessons!
Try on recital clothes! Make sure everything fits and practice playing in it. This is especially important if your child will wear heels at the recital. Children can grow so quickly, and being comfortable in their clothing will help them give a great performance.
Practice performing! It’s a great idea to have a mock recital each day before the event. Make a game of it, and set up an audience of stuffed animals or siblings! Have them practice walking up, playing, and bowing. This is especially helpful for younger children with less recital experience. They’ll feel much more comfortable if they’ve rehearsed all the aspects of performing!
Practice playing in different environments! Sometimes a child can get very used to playing in their habitual spots, and feel discombobulated performing elsewhere. It can be fun to give a performance in each room of the house, or while visiting friends and family. The more performing experience your child gains, the easier it will become.
Practice calming down! Being able to self‐soothe is a very important skill. Work with your child on deep, slow breathing or creating a mental image of a relaxing place. Also, be sure to let them know that it’s okay if the performance doesn’t go as planned. If something happens, just keep playing and have fun!
Have a happy recital!
- Shannon Jansma, published in the February 2016 issue of the Ann Arbor Suzuki Institute newsletter