When your child has a music recital approaching, it is easy to feel a little helpless as they struggle to master their piece and battle with the nervousness they might be feeling. While it might be tempting to sit back and let their music lessons teach them everything they need to know, there is a lot you can do to support your child’s preparation at home. Here are 7 tips for helping your child prepare for their music recital.
Sit in on Music Lessons
As the recital approaches, sitting in on the music lesson, or at least spending a few minutes checking in with the instructor will help you understand what points your child needs to work on to improve for the recital. That way, you can help your child remember these finer points while they practice at home. They may be anything from enforcing the use of a metronome, correcting posture or encouraging repetition with a tough section of music.
Have Them Practice Daily
Daily practice is an important part of music learning no matter what the circumstances but with a recital even a month away, it becomes even more critical. Even as the holiday season starts to get busier, make sure your child has enough time to practice. During their music lessons, they will also be working on their recital piece, and they may get tired of the piece, but they still need to practice it daily. Practice should be at least 30 minutes a day – and your child should feel prepared for the recital.
Speed Them Up
Your child should be able to play their piece at 110% of its normal speed. When they perform, they are likely to be nervous and make mistakes. By speeding it up, they will be even more comfortable playing it at the normal speed, and are likely to make fewer mistakes because it will feel slow to them. This is something that her teacher should cover during her music lessons.
Don’t Make Them Nervous
Younger children are not likely to be nervous unless we convey the message that they should be. Sharing your enthusiasm and excitement with them will keep them in the right frame of mind. Older children might be nervous. You can acknowledge and appreciate that and remind them of the things they can do to prepare themselves so their nervousness doesn’t hurt their performance. Find out what might make them feel less nervous. This might be a certain family member in the audience, practicing on a stage or a lucky charm they keep on them.
Give Them Audiences
Performing for an audience can be pretty nerve-wracking for certain age groups. By encouraging your child to play for an enthusiastic audience of family and friends, you are giving them a chance to exercise their performance skills and get more comfortable with people watching them play. This can go far towards helping them keep their nerves in check on the big day.
From cheering them on during their practice to helping them pick out clothes for their recital, your involvement communicates a message that you are proud and interested in what they are accomplishing. Share your praise and encourage them to have pride in themselves and their work. If they are struggling with self-confidence, one option you might try is to flip back to the beginning of their music book and remind them that how far they’ve come!
Make a Big Deal Out of The Recital
After the recital, consider taking your child out for a special dinner or treat, or finding some other way to celebrate their performance. Even if the music they played was “beginner”, even if they made mistakes – the fact that they got up on stage in front of others to perform is, in and of itself, a major feat. By celebrating that with them, you’re helping them to learn not to focus on the mistakes and encouraging them to continue to grow as a musician.
Music recitals are exciting and a great opportunity to help your child learn performance skills that will be important not only for their musical pursuits, but in other areas of life. By sharing your enthusiasm, helping them prepare, and celebrating their accomplishments, you’ll help dispel some of the nervousness. With these seven steps, your child can begin to develop confidence in their ability to play for an audience and further their musical career.