Quick question: does your son or daughter play on a soccer team that practices twice a week but never plays in any games? Or, are they learning to play tennis but never have any matches?
Seems crazy, right?
The practice sessions and the games go together and you can’t even imagine one without the other. It’s the same thing with learning to play a musical instrument. Unfortunately, many aspiring musicians go for months or longer without performing.
And while it’s true that some kids have a really strong internal drive and might not need the external goal of an upcoming performance, it’s pretty rare. That’s why one of the best ways to motivate and inspire your musician is through performance. It's up to teachers and parents to look for opportunities for students to perform.
Here are five ideas to get your started:
1. Mini in-home performances for friends and family
These can be short, no-pressure, and super fun. Try to get into the routine of doing these once a week and be sure to skype-in out-of-town and always appreciative grandparents.
2. Retirement homes
Retirement homes are thrilled to schedule a free concert for their residents, no matter the age or level of the performer. Your child can gain performance experience in front of a truly appreciative audience and learn about giving back at the same time.
3. Community centers or libraries
Community centers and libraries are always looking for young musicians to perform! Ask to come in at the end of story time, or to play in the lobby. Just be sure to keep it quiet... like piano or pianissimo :)
4. School and studio recitals
This is a no-brainer. Your music school definitely offers recitals, showcases, or open mics. Be the first in line to sign up for these and participate at least once a semester!
This is a little more involved, but as your student progresses into intermediate levels in middle school and high school, competitions like all-state music festivals or battle of the bands can be extremely motivating!
Make sure to let your instructor know that you’re looking to find fun, new places for your student to perform. Believe me, they’ll be super excited and go the extra mile to help out!
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