Recital season is upon us. Many people ask me how to prepare for a recital. Here are some tips for helping prepare yourself or your child for an upcoming recital. It is important to remember that we aim for perfection in our practice and a good, solid, confident performance in a recital. Performances are rarely perfect. Performing in front of a larger audience in a recital hall is a different environment and experience than practicing in your living room, playing for your teacher in a lesson, or playing casually for family and friends. It is therefore realistic to aim for a great, but not perfect performance.
To have a successful recital, I recommend that the student be able to perform his piece(s) perfectly or nearly perfectly nine to ten times consecutively five to seven days a week for three to four weeks. The piece(s) should be polished and performance ready nearly a month in advance of the recital date. I do not recommend performing extremely new repertoire in a recital unless the student is extremely experienced and confident. The month before the recital should be reserved for tweaking nuances, for example, in dynamics, and not for major re-fingerings and other technical changes.
Your stage presence, including attire, is very important to the overall presentation. A bow in the beginning and end of the performance is good etiquette . Nobody is disturbed about mistakes if the performance is convincing and he can successfully move forward without showing it on his/her face
In a performance, the most important thing is the continuity, if you stop, keep going, and do your best to finish. You always want to move ahead from a mistake.
Regular performances help your child learn how to deal with anxiety when faced with an exam, a school presentation and public speaking. Being able to recall all the information under stress, knowing they have only one shot is difficult, but a helpful skill they will develop.