Holiday Family Performances
During Thanksgiving last week, I was reminded of Thanksgivings past when, as a child and teenager, I was often asked to perform on the piano for family and friends gathered together for the holiday. These impromptu family performances were always fun times to showcase what I had been learning and to let others enjoy some fun music. These events also gave me great opportunities to practice performing under pressure but in a safe environment. At the time, I did not realize the value of these performances, but in looking back, I now see that they assisted me in becoming a more confident and consistent performer.
Thanksgiving is now past, but the holidays and family get-togethers have just begun. Now is a great time to encourage your children who are in music lessons to perform for family and friends. These can be short, informal performances, but they are very valuable for your child in a variety of ways. First, by performing regularly, your child can see the improvement he or she makes from performance to performance. Often family members that only hear your child perform every few months or so can see and point out to your child the progress he or she is making. This might be progress that is otherwise unnoticed by the child because it happens so gradually, but it can be very motivating to have someone else observe and make note of that progress. Additionally, children learn to use their talents to serve others by providing enjoyable music for those around them. Last, children learn to perform under pressure and sometimes on the spot, as these performances are not always planned but are often the result of “Oh, Johnny has been taking piano lessons. Johnny, will you play something for us?” These kinds of performances motivate children to always have something ready to perform in case something just like the above example occurs.
So this holiday season, consider having your child participate in some of these impromptu performances for family and friends.