Music Perception

Why performance?

Sometimes parents and students wonder why I encourage performance. There are many benefits to performing as a part of one’s education. One is that if a student just continually learns new pieces for lessons without any goal in mind, it will often become difficult to actually complete a piece by memorization unless the student is very self-motivated. Periodic performances allow for a student to be motivated by providing a goal to be reached.

Also, the frequency of performances is important. As one teacher pointed out, would you go to a surgeon who only performed surgery once a year? And yet, most studios will only have one studio recital and that’s it. What results is that students get nervous, as they only have this one chance to get it right. The more performances a student has in a year’s time, the less anxiety they will have, and the more enjoyable playing for others will become. Monthly group lessons, playing or singing at a nursing home in December, WMTA Auditions in February (and May for state), and the studio recital in June are all performance opportunities for my students.

Performing a piece has a way of solidifying techniques being worked on in the lesson that cannot happen anywhere else. If a student is able to performa a piece in front of an audience, that technique becomes a solid part of how they perform. It is built-in positive reinforcement! And once a particular piece is performed, even only once, the “kinks” get worked out, and subsequent performances of the same piece generally improve.