At LifeTime Music we facilitate and make opportunity for Recitals each year. Over the years we have seen both the “good and not so good.” This, in absolutely no way, is in reference to our students and their performances as I am of the opinion that every student who has participated over the years (literally hundreds and hundreds of them) are heroes in my eyes, and I could never be prouder than I already am of every single one of their contributions to those recitals of years past.
The statement of “good and not so good” has to do with why we do recitals. What is the value of having a recital and who are the benefactors thereof? Recitals, traditionally are not something that I grew up with in South Africa and so introducing them into our teaching program required me to grapple with a few questions I had as to their validity. To do them as a service because everyone else was doing them wasn't sufficient enough reason to do them. They require a great deal of forethought, planning, administration, patience, courage, vulnerability and a willingness from both student and parent alike that goes far beyond normal weekly or bi-weekly lessons.
As to the why do recitals; recognizing that music is and can be so much more than only personal and that it is in our sharing of music as an expression and extension of ourselves that we find the true purity of music’s melody. Music can refresh tired minds and broken hearts and often times can become a catalyst to mending broken friendships. I am always amazed at how spouses that are separated or divorced are willing to put aside their factions, hurt and disagreements for the opportunity and sake of their child’s desire to embrace the art of music and performance. I like to say that music finds its true expression in creating bridges of opportunity. Recitals, for Jeana and I, are about creating the opportunity and atmosphere for music to shine brightest. When we get this right the real heroes as I mentioned before are the precious ones participating and performing with courage and beauty. Whether it be on the electric, bass or acoustic guitars, piano, drums or a vocal performance, ultimately we all come out being refreshed and feeling great about life, sacrifice and ourselves if we do recitals for the right reasons.