I have only been playing for few months, I can’t be ready for a recital yet, Can I?

A recital is an opportunity to demonstrate your current playing ability. No matter at which level you are currently playing, you will somehow feel inadequate and unprepared. If you are a really advanced musician, you also realize all the little things you need to work on and you know what you are doing right or wrong. The bottom line is that you are assessing yourself continually between how good you are playing and what is the best you can play for that level of development. I don’t know how many thousand of times I have heard the refrain, “but I play this so much better at home.” There will never be a miraculous day where you have a 100% confidence and never make a mistake, but by going on stage frequently, you learn the world does not end, and with every performance, bit by bit, you will feel more confidence.

I hate playing in front of people. What if I don’t want to play?

Nothing will happen to you if you do no play, but same can be said of your own self confidence if you do not engage the opportunity. You will never advance on the matter if you avoid it forever. Hate is usually a code word for not wanting to be made to feel uncomfortable. There is only one way and one way only to overcome that adversity, that is by engaging it and winning the battle of confidence. Everyone feels a bit  or a lot uncomfortable at first, but with repeated performances, a lot of the nervousness disappears. I remember shaking knees and shaky voice at my first solo performances. After a while, I sometimes forgot I was in front of people.

What can I do to feel more relaxed?

Firstly, let’s remember your life is not on the line, and the audience is composed of primarily your friends and family, or another performer’s friends and family. Don’t treat them like a panel of judges waiting to pounce on your every move. Treat them like your friends or family. Make a joke or two. Take a moment, whenever you need it to prepare, and keep in mind most of the people in the audience cannot even do what you are about to do. I remember a young cello student getting ready for her performance and had a very bad case of the nerves. She was worried about making mistakes, having the audience notice she was not doing everything properly, and eventually failing miserably with everyone knowing how bad she was at playing cello. I pointed out that probably no one other than her teacher knew how to play cello, and the people in the audience probably wished that they could play cello, and finally, her parents were paying someone else to teach her because they did not know how to play either. While setting up on the stage she made a silly small joke about her fiddle being too big to play under her chin, the audience laughed and everything turned out well. The people applauded the effort cause everybody knows that it is stressful being in front of an audience.

I want to bring my sons’ grandparents and brothers to the recital. How much do tickets cost?

Our recitals are completely free. There is seating for a 110 people at every recital and the average length of every recital is approximately 45 minutes. There is a stage, with curtains and lights. All the equipment you need, and plenty of opportunity to meet the teacher, take some photos, or videotape the performance. All we ask is to please be respectful of the event. Do not talk during performances. Take all the photos and videos of the event you like but do not infringe upon someone else’s enjoyment of the evening. Arrive on time and stay to the end of the recital, and take out any drink cups or wrappers you may have brought in with you.