Post image for Ready, Set, Record! The Foolproof Way To Prove To Your Child They’re Recital Ready…<i>Without</i> Lying

Ready, Set, Record! The Foolproof Way To Prove To Your Child They’re Recital Ready…Without Lying

Ah, spring.

A time when kids feel the warm weather coming on and that infamous spring fever kicks in.

They can’t sit still. They count the days until school ends. They dream about lazy days with their friends, full days at the pool, and vacations on the beach.

I never had that feeling for long.

While everyone talked about camp adventures, new bathing suits, and long days in the sun, I thought about one thing and one thing only…

My Studio Recital. And I was terrified.

I knew what it was like. There would be hot bright lights. What looked like a million people in the crowd. And cameras flashing in my face.

It didn’t matter how much I’d practiced at home or how much my parents and teachers told me how well I was going to play…

Standing on stage was scary.

It wasn’t until I had my own studio of students that I thought about ways to really conquer stage fright for kids once and for all. I knew there had to be a way to make this whole recital ordeal less stressful and a heck of a lot more fun.

Even though there’s no one method to magically zap all the tension away, I developed some techniques to help kids have a recital day that makes them proud. In fact, this is the first of a 4-part recital series that aims to do just that!

Read on for the first tip 🙂

Pull out your camera

Sometimes kids need proof – hard evidence that they’re improving and that practicing isn’t all for nothing.

Most kids are afraid they’re going to hit sour notes, forget their pieces or freeze up when they play for you at their recital. Honestly, when some musicians start thinking about playing on stage, they get so overwhelmed with the stress of actually performing in front of everyone that they forget how far they’ve come.

For these kids, no amount of verbal encouragement will do. You can say, “You’re going to do great!” and “You can do it! There’s no reason to be nervous!” all day, but it will be completely lost on them.

So if your recital is in a month or so, record them playing their performance piece for you today.

  • Every week between now and recital day, record them performing their piece from the beginning to the end with no stopping.
  • At the end of a month you should have about 4 recordings. Before the big day, sit down together and listen to the first recording and the last recording.

Take some time to really pay attention and listen to the differences. If they’ve been steadily practicing, there should be a big difference between the two versions. Since kids are constantly playing their performance piece between the weeks leading up to the recital, they’re repeatedly refining their skills over and over again.

Ask your child to tell you what they’re doing better.

  • Has their posture improved?
  • Does the beginning of the piece sound clear and clean when they play it now?
  • Is there a part that sounds so much better than even a week ago?

Focus on the positive points for now and leave out the constructive criticism. You’ll be surprised to find that when you ask what they think they can they can improve (without any prompting from you), kids come up with a self-improvement list all on their own.

Musicians tend to live in their head too much, focusing on what they’re playing wrong rather than what they’re playing right.

Hearing and seeing their own progress for themselves will show them that even though they’re nervous about their upcoming performance, they’ve accomplished so much. Getting on stage will be a lot easier and less scary because you’re giving them a huge confidence boost based in real results.

And fear’s #1 enemy is confidence.

In the middle of all this stress that comes with preparing for the recital (like inviting your entire family, picking out the perfect outfit, and getting everyone to the venue on time), you might even forget how far they’ve come along too.

Now, both of you can hear and see how far your child’s progressed, and that’s something to celebrate!

Have you ever recorded your child’s practice sessions and listened to them together? Is this a tip you’ll try out?

P.S. Click below to read the rest of the posts in the recital prep series:

Kiss Their Stage Fright Goodbye With This Secret

Stop The Music! Why You Should Take A Break And Do This Before The Big Day

5 Simple Steps To A Stress-Free Recital Day

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Tammy April 23, 2014 at 10:35 am

I don’t understand why I’ve never thought of this. I record my own singing practice to gauge my own progress so it makes complete sense to do it for my daughter’s violin practice. Thank you for the tip! I am definitely going to try it out!


Elizabeth Kane April 23, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Glad you liked it, Tammy! I’m with you on this. It amazes me what I can see and hear on a recording when I step away from the music myself – the good *and* the not so good. Let me know how it goes for you and your daughter 🙂


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