On Friday, June 9th we had our annual Spring Recital at the church. Not everyone was able to attend, but we still had twenty four students play which was awesome. I'm constantly impressed by how professional everyone acts and the level at which players are able to perform.
As always, students introduce themselves and their piece, working to tell the audience something meaningful about the music. It could be what they learned, something about the composer, an interesting fact or something the audience should listen for. I work with students on their introductions prior to the performance and remind them the three rules for public speaking:
1. SPEAK LOUDLY
2. SPEAK SLOWLY
3. SPEAK CLEARLY
Public speaking is an important life skill to learn and develop. Many (if not most) highly successful adults need to address large groups of their peers regularly. I like to get them started early!
Performances are an invaluable learning opportunity. I have two recitals each year for students - one in the spring (mid June) and one in the fall (mid December). It gives each student a chance to prepare and play a solo piece and also for group class to perform as an ensemble. It usually draws a large crowd of parents, family and friends. Good stuff!
I really enjoy working both with students in their individual lessons and also in the group class setting. Private lessons gives me a chance to tailor an approach and methodology to each individual student and parent. We form a "triangle" of sorts between myself, the child and the parent, all working together towards a common goal of advancement on the instrument. I also get to know students and their parents very well which is great!
As musicians, we are almost always playing in a group setting - even if it's just a solo with piano accompaniment. There are so many skills that must be developed and fostered to be a successful musician. Group class affords us the opportunity to learn together (which is so fun!) and to develop our ears and technique as ensemble players. Group class is one of the hallmark differences between the Suzuki Method and a more "traditional" method.