I’ve been teaching for 20 years, but this was one of the best recitals ever. Nobody cried… not before, not after, not even me!
The audience was treated to a wide variety of music from the beginner student belting out “Hot Cross Buns” to an advanced adult student whose refined performance of “Syrinx” was terrific. In addition to my flute and recorder students, there were two dads playing piano for two flutist daughters. I had the pleasure of coaching my son and his cellist friend on a big fireworks piece. They were the grand finale of the recital. After the recital, we shared delicious food and beverages.
At lessons this week, I listened with my students to digital recordings of their performances. It was a delight to hear one student say, “I wasn’t happy with my performance on Sunday, but after listening to the recording, I realize I played really well.”
In a previous post about recital preparation, I wrote about the importance of practicing like a performance. The students this year were all very well prepared and all performed better than I had ever heard them in a lesson. It’s great when a little recital magic pops the performance up a notch.
At the recital, I talked a bit about how musicians and magicians have a lot in common. In fact, when my kids were little, they had the two words confused. Both musicians and magicians have to cultivate unique skills, and we practice so the audience is unaware of all the difficult work that goes into the performance. For the musician, the art is almost entirely unseen as it is enjoyed by the ear and not the eyes. For the magician, the what the audience sees is carefully controlled. Both magicians and musicians practice their craft alone, but the thrill comes when performing in front of an audience. We know that the show takes genuine work, but we open our hearts to a bit of magic too. As a special recital gift this year, all of the performers received bags of magic tricks. I hope they read the directions carefully before testing the finger guillotine!
Some of the students have just begun their studies. Others I have known for many years. I am enjoying the time I have left with the graduating senior, and this past weekend I was glad to give her a job recommendation. It’s always sad when a student I have taught for a long time leaves the studio. But I am glad to be able to stay in touch through Facebook.
Of course we enjoyed some great food and conversation at the reception after the recital.