This Saturday is my spring recital, so this week is our recital rehearsals. Students come for one hour on their normal lesson day. They play through their pieces and we go through performance tips, etiquette and any other things I need them to know about the recital. If we have time then they get to play the “focus” game. This is where a student plays their piece while the other students do things that could possibly happen at the recital. (i.e.: coughing, sneezing, baby crying, phone ringing, etc…) The goal is stay focused throughout your performance. They love this game!
In my studio, aside from one optional event that requires it, I do not require memorization in performances. I would rather have a student play a solid performance with their music then have a shaky performance without it. However I do ENCOURAGE memorization especially for the spring recital (our other recitals the rest of the year are more casual). I also let students know that even if they have their piece memorized if they are more comfortable bringing the music up I’m okay with that. Again, I want them to feel confidant, secure and ready. I want them to also play how they normally practice at home. So if they are normally playing without the music, then I suggest to not have the music up there as it could be a distraction. If they normally play with it there, but they don’t look at it, then play that way. Whatever they are used to doing at home, I want them to do it at the recital.
Those students that can prove at the recital rehearsal that they do have their piece memorized (whether or not they end up using the music at the recital does not matter) gets a little something “extra” from me.
This year the “extra” is all about the “brownie points”…
You might be asking, well if it doesn’t matter if they have the music or not when they perform why even encourage? Because I noticed the students that have their piece memorized usually have their piece in the back of their pocket. So all in all it helps with the polishing process.