Parents enjoy hearing the progress their child is making. For parents, grandparents and family and friends, there’s something special about watching your child all dressed up and playing a special piece for an audience on a real stage. In our age of mobile technology, social media and instant communication, loved ones anywhere in the world can share in these special moments which is why they are so important to all of us. It shows students that you value their music, and it’s a great way for the people they care about most to demonstrate support for their efforts.
Concerts provide more focused direction for students in their musical studies, providing a long-term goal to work towards, and not just the ongoing regular weekly lessons. For performers at an event like this, with a big audience assembled to watch them play, it is a motivating force to prepare and practice more effectively than at any other time, and that pays dividends in their abilities. This is the "flossing" phenomenon, where we make a much greater effort once the dentist's appointment has been scheduled!
A recital provides the opportunity to challenge yourself with a piece over the longer-term, conquer new skills, and critically, learn to polish a piece, memorize, internalize and then express it, which is when we stop making sounds and start making real music. Weekly lessons and assignments are more targeted to individual skills and knowledge, but a recital piece is a great chance to spend time putting it all together. It's about creating high standards and achieving excellence, which carries over to anything we do in life.
Performing for an audience helps students to experience nervousness, and manage and overcome those fears. It teaches us that it’s ok to feel nervous, that it's a natural part of being human and that we can overcome those feelings, remain poised and deliver a confident public performance. Most music students will never play their instrument on stage at Carnegie Hall, but we will all encounter situations in our personal and professional lives that require us to present ourselves before a captive audience and deliver a convincing performance, whether it's in a boardroom to the company's Board of Directors or a prospective new client, in a classroom filled with math students, arguing a case to a courtroom jury, or even just to give the Best Man's speech at your best friend's wedding.
Performing at music concerts gives students recognition for their efforts, and an opportunity to feel successful; to receive genuine praise and appreciation for their efforts.
Concerts allow each student to hear their fellow students play. This is important for two reasons: a) Hearing the young beginners reminds them how far they have progressed since their first lesson. b) Hearing the more advanced students gives them cause to look to the future and aspire to become better musicians themselves. Hearing others perform, mistakes and all, reassures us that nobody is perfect, reminds us to try our best and to just keep going, no matter what. Watching others play reminds us that we’re all in this together. And that leads to the fact that...
Live music instills a sense of community and belonging in students. Concerts are hugely memorable events that we carry throughout the rest of our lives. They are a wonderful opportunity to meet others in the studio and in the wider community, experience culture at a grassroots level, and share the experience of a compelling performance that links individuals together forever by that time and place.