An important part of playing a musical instrument is performing. While not many students might end up playing professionally, to perform is a significant element in learning music.
Part of my ethos at Stellar Music School is that music is ideally to be a shared experience – we share lessons, we play in groups, we sing in a choir, and then we share in concerts.
Last week we had our first semester concert at Stellar, and people are still buzzing. The parents are thrilled both because their child performed beautifully, and because they saw the future for their child in more advanced performers. The children are buzzing because they are proud of their success and because we had a wonderful supper afterwards! But more than that, the children can feel part of something when they recognise younger students playing songs they used to play, or they hear a cool song played by an older student and they ask to begin learning it. (Even better of course when it’s a song they recognise from television, movies or computer games.)
I was an extremely nervous performer as a child, and I recall memory lapses, mistakes in concerts, nerve-wracking exams, and enforced performances for members of the extended family.
The nerves do diminish, and I am a living testament to this.
One of my proudest moments during our concert was when one of my teenagers who has previously made nerve-related performance mistakes every concert, played flawlessly.
Another high point was when one of my little fellows who has been playing trombone for five months performed “We will rock you” and the audience, unprompted, clapped the response.
For me, this is music: performance, sharing and joy, and this is what we experienced last Friday.
The buzz of excitement and achievement is another way to inspire practice, and engender feelings of achievement and pride.