CYM Solo Recitals: A Parent’s Guide 

This Saturday may be your very first recital with your child, or it may be your twelfth! Either way, it is a big day. A recital is a time to celebrate, and to share musical progress with family and the CYM community. A recital gives students something to work for. It is important to take a piece of music all the way to the polished, performance-ready stage. It also helps teachers gauge a student’s progress in a tangible way. Gatherings such as this also serve to motivate. Seeing an older student play an advanced piece can help younger students have something to work toward. And the trophies, ribbons, and certificates can also be a motivating factor, giving each student a picture in their mind of where they could be this time next year! Encourage your child to enjoy the day, and to dream of tomorrow.

Big days can bring some pressures, so here are some thoughts as you get ready for Saturday:

Preparation

The best way to get ready is to practice! Well, that may seem obvious. But practice performing. In other words, have a few mock recitals in your home so that your child can get used to the feeling of playing for others. In addition, you might talk to your child about the music- ask what their favorite part is, and who the composer is. Older students should be able to tell you what key the piece is written in, as well.

A dress rehearsal at home can also help get the performer past that uncomfortable feeling of playing in new clothes or shoes! Students should be a little dressed up for a recital, but if that means new shoes or suit and tie, or a dress, they should practice playing in those clothes. It will feel just a little different! You may change your mind about those clothes after trying them out in a performance. (That tutu just doesn’t look as good on the piano bench as it did in the dance recital!) Talk to your teacher if you have questions about what your student should wear.

Performing

Our recitals are held at the First Unitarian Church in Shadyside (605 Morewood Avenue), in their beautiful sanctuary. Students should arrive at least 20 minutes early. The students will sit in a designated spot up front on the left side. Teachers will be on hand to direct each student, telling them when to stand, when to walk up, etc. This helps to ensure that the recital moves along swiftly, with few pauses. Pictures will be taken all day by CYM staff, so that you can enjoy the moment with your child.

The Audience

All our students have worked hard to get to this day. The audience’s role is to be quiet, respectful listeners, and, of course, exuberant applauders! During the performance, keep distractions to a minimum by putting your phone on silent mode, and not moving around while students are playing. Feel free to carry an overly vocal baby out if necessary- come back in when you can. Don’t forget to smile while students are playing – it actually does help them feel at ease!

The Reception

Time to celebrate! When the recital is over, we will have a small reception just across the hall from the sanctuary! Grab some coffee and sweets and go out in the courtyard as the weather allows. Take selfies with the teachers and meet other families!

All of us at the Center for Young Musicians are thankful that you have entrusted your child’s musical journey to us. We are honored to help bring the love and joy of music to your student and to your family! Congratulations on all the successes so far. Let’s mark another one this Saturday.

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