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Piano teacher sits with young student as she plays the keyboard.
December 4, 2019

10 Helpful Recital Day Tips for Music Students

With Piano Power recitals right around the corner, you may be wondering how you can best prepare your child for the big day. Their music is rehearsed and recital-ready, but is there anything else left to do?

Here’s some tips for recital day success that you may not be aware of.

1. Get a good night’s sleep.

It may seem like common sense, but we can’t stress it enough. A good night of rest makes it easier to stay focused, lowers stress levels and increases creativity – all important factors for a successful performance.

2. Eat breakfast.

Recital days can become very busy, very quickly. A healthy breakfast will fuel you with energy for the big day.

Try eating food with protein and fiber to keep you fuller longer. Nothing’s more distracting to a performance than a growling tummy.

Tip for vocalists: Avoid consuming dairy products the day of your recital. Dairy tends build up phlegm in the throat, which can become a struggle to sing through.

3. Keep it mellow.

Recital day is not the time to have a fight with your best friend. Do your best to avoid stress and drama on the day of the recital.

A clear headspace will help you focus on rocking your performance, and help you fully enjoy the experience of dressing up nicely, listening to your peers perform, and maybe getting a treat afterward!

4. Do a warm-up.

Even if it’s just a scale or two, warm-ups are a great way to get your mind and body in the groove of working together again.

Tip for piano players: If possible, do a quick run through of your song on the piano at the recital venue. Every piano feels just the slightest bit different from the next, so playing a brief run through will eliminate any surprises regarding that particular instrument.

5. Don’t practice excessively.

You’ve already put in the work, so there’s no need to spend much more time (if any) on your recital piece. Feel free to do a run through, but leave it at that. Obsessing over little details in a piece can just add to nerves.

On the contrary, a quick run through can leave you feeling confident and excited to perform!

6. Play with passion.

Focus on emotion over perfection. Rather than striving to play every note perfectly, try to express the feeling of the song.

You can do this by focusing on details like dynamics, phrasing, and musical color. This way, you’ll feel less pressure while playing and you’ll enjoy a much more fulfilling performance experience.

“To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable.” – Ludwig Van Beethoven

7. Visualize success.

You’ve put in the practice time. You know the part. All that’s left to do is show off your skills – you can do this!

Feeling some pre-performance nerves? Nervous energy can be a positive thing. The adrenaline rushing through your body actually has the potential to boost your performance.

Take a few minutes to breathe deeply and feel your body relax. When those nerves start to kick in, just remember that you play music because you love it. This is your moment to share that magic with others!

8. Put on blinders.

Try not to worry about how others are doing. Easier said than done, I know! But simply be happy that they are getting their time to shine on stage and soon enough it’ll be your turn to do the same.

9. Don’t forget your lucky charms.

For some, bringing a good luck charm to the recital evokes a feeling of support and positivity. A favorite stuffed animal or other token of comfort can soothe a young child. For older students, a special piece of jewelry or other sentimental object may do the trick.

“When I was a teenager, I wore the same special necklace to every recital. It served as a comfort to me and reminded me to reflect on why I love performing in the first place.” –Marilyn, piano & voice instructor.

10. Celebrate!

So much hard work was put into preparing for recital day. Once it’s over, it’s time to kick back, relax, and eat some celebratory ice cream!

Feeling skeptical about recitals? Check out why Piano Power founder Abraham Levitan loves them.

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