On Saturday the 11th and Saturday the 18th of June, I had the privilege of hosting two recitals at Australian Piano Warehouse in West Melbourne. Across both weekends, a total of 34 students performed pieces encompassing a wide range of genres, styles and levels. I felt incredibly proud watching each performance, seeing my students get up and play their pieces beautifully, well polished and with confidence was testament to their handwork and efforts.
Since the recitals, I have had conversations with a number of parents and students, asking them their thoughts on the performances and how they felt. Universally, it was a positive experience and the students, though most were nervous (many had not ever performed before and if they had, not on such a beautiful grand piano), they told me that they still enjoyed performing in the moment as well as the feeling of accomplishment afterwards. Parents also gave me much positive feedback - seeing their children play as well as other students of higher abilities gives them a sense of where their child is at and also what they can aspire to, as well as being proud that their child has just performed beautifully in front of a big crowd! This is the same story the students told me as well - that seeing performers who were ahead of them in terms of ability inspired them and gave them something to look towards. A few students also told me that they enjoyed seeing the beginner students because it gave them a sense of nostalgia, it reminded them of where they were a few years go and they even recognised some of the songs.
Recitals are also a very tangible way for parents to see the results of their child's hard work, efforts and motivation. After the recitals I also had a number of parents ask me about exams as they realised that their child practised much more when they had a goal to work towards. I also noticed that some parents were asking Mark (the very knowledgeable salesman at Australian Piano Warehouse) about instruments which gave me hope that some families might think to upgrade to a beautiful acoustic piano, or at the very least a nice, quality digital piano after seeing their child perform.
It feels so surreal that we had two years of essentially no recitals. I felt nervous and unsure about these mid year recitals - would the students benefit from performing? Will students be too nervous or shy? Will parents want to put in the effort to come on a Saturday evening? - All of these thoughts - while valid - were proved wrong. The families that came to the recitals and signed up were so enthusiastic and positive about the experience. My students who were nervous learnt a little about dealing with performance anxiety and how good preparation means that performing with confidence trumps nervousness. My students all definitely saw the benefits of performing in front of a crowd.
Looking towards the future, I cannot wait to organise another special recital for my students. Having gone from teaching Japanese and piano part time in 2021 to now running my own business, working for myself and only teaching piano - I cannot express enough how grateful I am to all of the families in my studio. The pride I felt watching my students perform really validated my decision to pursue my business. Without your support, these recitals don't get to happen so thank-you.
Many thanks once again to Mark and the team at Australian Piano Warehouse, as well as our fabulous photographer Marion!
Please enjoy some photos from the recitals! Many more are posted on my instagram page.