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

“Perfect! Now play it again!”

You’re sick of hearing it and they’re tired of playing it, but it has to be done. There’s a performance coming up, and every practice counts even more than the last.

You hear a deep sigh, a muttering of something inaudible, and they slowly begin to play their piece once more.

Performances have a way of turning up the heat fast. Musicians get tunnel vision on their ONE BIG SONG, and by the time their recital is near it’s practically pouring out of their ears. You can always practice more, drill more, rehearse more.

But what if you just…stopped?

Take a look back in time

Before you get so ahead of yourself, hanging out in the land of perfect notes and flawless musical phrases, take a look back at how far they’ve come.

Next time they’re taking a break or sitting on the couch after a long day, let your child know how proud you are of them.

Genuine acknowledgment. Sincere approval. The words they truly need to hear – right here, right now, when it’s all about refining a group of notes on a white page and bringing them to life in front of an intimidating crowd of listeners.

Take a break and look back through their notes together.

  • The ones that said, “practice slowing down at the beginning.”
  • The quick scribble from their teacher that decorates the side of the music staff with, “play this with a cleaner tone” and “FINISH STRONG HERE!”

Go through the notebooks and the practice tallys.

  • Read the tips you jotted down during their lessons.
  • Bring out the video from last year’s recital.

It’ll be like going through a small time capsule together. And it’ll give you some perspective – not something you have a lot of right before their big day.

Both of you need this

Do this exercise while enjoying a nice bowl of ice cream together, or in a quiet living room with the TV off. It doesn’t have to be a big hoopla. Keep it positive and keep it light. Leave behind the stress, the to-do lists, and the you-could-play-that-betters.

Measure how far they’ve come from where they started. Not how far they’ve come compared to someone else, and not how far they are from the next goal.

Take a couple days off from practicing if you need to. Some kids can get too caught up in all this recital prep. It’s good to show them how to maintain perspective.

Don’t rob yourself of this moment – because this moment matters just as much as the one down the road, five years and five recitals from now.

It’s absolutely amazing to watch a young musician bloom into a confident performer over the years. Relish this phase in their journey. If you don’t take a breath and give yourself a chance to savor it, you might miss it.

Sure, you can testify to how tough it is these days when they’re practicing minuets and gavottes and waltzes.

But do you remember those dreaded Twinkles days? At the time, it felt like they’d never make it past those nursery school melodies. But somehow, both of you got through that and came out on the other side to tell the tale.

That’s kind of a big deal, and I’m proud of you. Both of you.

So when it gets too intense, and the pressure is too much, take a step back and remember how far both of you have traveled on this journey together.

You’ve got a lot to celebrate.

Would you consider taking a break from practicing before a performance? What do you do or say when it all feels like too much for you and your child? Tell me in the comments below!

P.S. Did you catch the other recital prep posts? Click below to catch them all:

Kiss Their Stage Fright Goodbye With This Surprising Secret

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

5 Simple Steps To A Stress-Free Recital Day

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