Recitals are so important – you can cook in the kitchen all day, but no one eats till you put it on the table. A good recital is as inviting as Thanksgiving dinner. My student recitals are organized and prepared with the same finesse that I bring to the table in my own concert engagements.
A student music recital is a celebration of months of study. My RiverArts (Westchester) students prepare for the recital throughout the year with group classes, where they practice performing for each other (among many other things!). For those of my students who can’t attend class during the year for one reason or another, I include them in the last few classes so that they feel at home with their colleagues.
No one is required to play by memory. Polishing a performance piece does not mean memorizing it. One should be able to give a polished and meaningful performance while using the music. Some students prefer to play their recital piece by memory, which is terrific, but the art of performing should be open to all. I want all of my students to develop a positive relationship to performing for others and sharing of themselves in this special way.
My end of year recitals begin with everyone playing their solos, then we move to small ensembles, and end with a large group play.
I also encourage students to organize smaller recitals in their home, or wherever appropriate. Many students like to prepare “book recitals” upon completing the Suzuki books.