From the musicians’ practice regimen to the chair rentals, so much preparation goes into concerts of all sizes. Just a month ago now, we had our Knauer Music School Recital Day – and I say “Recital Day” because we actually had to break all our performances up into four recitals! We had three recitals for students under 18, and we have so many adult students that we dedicated the fourth recital to adults only!
About 100 students total performed throughout the day. We heard so much different repertoire, from Pop Goes the Weasel, to Bohemian Rhapsody, to the new KMS String Ensemble’s rendition of Lo How a Rose!
Prior to Recital Day, we’re practicing, planning, making lists, making sure our equipment is prepared, charging camera batteries… covering all our bases for any and every eventuality. After the recital, we all take a deep sigh of relief. Students go out for dinner with their families, and continue their lessons as usual. Ashley and I pack up our equipment and break down the chairs, (and I don’t know about anyone else but I definitely rush home to get my shoes off).
But my Recital Day doesn’t end there. I get to relive this day for a few more weeks, while I edit all the photos and videos. At the studio I also get to talk to the teachers and my own students and hear their reactions. I also see things at the recital and in the photos and videos that not everyone else sees. Because of this, I think I have a unique perspective on the performances and the day.
One cool thing I get to see is how students improve from performance to performance. I’ve been working at Knauer Music School for exactly a year now, so I’ve seen the June recital and the December recital. And I’ve seen so much development in the students who played in both. Especially the little ones – in June they played one-hand melodies, and in December they played two-hand pieces!
Some of the teachers are so proud of their students that they ask me for copies of the photos or videos, or ask me to add their own photos of themselves with their students. It’s so fantastic to see how dedicated and invested these teachers are in their students. It’s a special crew.
The most endearing thing I get to see is actually on the day of the recital (and sometimes also captured by my photos or videos). The parents of each student are encouraged to get up and get a good spot to take their own photos and videos. For one violin student in particular, three family members went up to the front and held their phones up for her entire performance!
Just about every parent was up there capturing their child’s performance, and that’s when I realized just how much love was in that room at any given time that day. And for me, that’s what teaching music is all about – it’s about sharing my love of music, and applying it to the family’s everyday life. It’s not teaching music for music’s sake. It’s integrating culture and art into a loving and supportive environment.