On Saturday 29th November I was delighted to host my first student concert at a local church hall. Twenty of my young students, aged between 4 and 11, performed to an audience of over fifty family members and friends. For many of them it was their first experience of performing in public. I was so proud of each and every one of them. In their lessons we had rehearsed all aspects of their performance – not just the piece they were playing but also their introductions and bows! Each one introduced their piece(s) clearly, played beautifully (despite a fairly poor quality piano) and took a bow to acknowledge the enthusiastic applause from the audience. I know from many comments received afterwards that all the students were really proud of themselves afterwards, despite some pre-concert nerves. I know from experience the value of performing; the boost to the self-esteem of a job well done, particularly if this means overcoming nerves.
My friend and piano-teaching colleague, Fran Wilson, who attended the concert, sums it up perfectly in her blog: “For students, parents and teachers, performing demonstrates that piano lessons lead to real, noticeable achievement, and hearing other students perform different pieces is inspiring and exciting. Above all, performing reminds us that music was written to be shared”. (You can read the full blog post here).
This concert will be the first of many as I really look forward to giving my students more opportunities to perform; to enjoy sharing their music and further develop their confidence in the process.