I’ve been pondering on musical milestones during the past few weeks Recently, one of my students, Charlee, played her book 2 graduation recital. A graduation recital, in the Suzuki world, is an important milestone to celebrate the culmination of learning all the pieces in a book. At the recital, the student plays through all the pieces from memory. To prepare for the recital, the student and teacher spend time reviewing and refining the pieces to make them as musical and historically accurate as possible.
To learn all the pieces in a book takes countless hours of practicing, and great mental concentration. The skills of persistence, hard work, and attention to detail are skills that students begin to develop from the first lesson. The attention to detail required to learn Bach minuets is developed as the students learn to play Honeybee and Lightly Row with Alberti bass.
A graduation recital is a wonderful achievement, and I am very proud of Charlee’s work and dedication. I am equally proud of my beginning students when they can play Variation 1 from beginning to end with high bounces, switch from the C major chord to the G major chord, or play the F major scale hands together. As my students and I approach the spring recital, I am reminded that we would not be celebrating the milestones if not for the patient, dedicated practicing of students on a daily basis and the parents who come to lessons and listen to their children practice at home.
Several years ago, one of my teacher friends reminded me, "A recital is a celebration, not a test." It is a celebration of the persistence and commitment put forth by the student, parent, and teacher. So let's celebrate!
I am a piano teacher who loves teaching music and discussing personality styles. I also enjoy playing music with others, whether that is chamber music, piano duets, or singing in a choir. My favorite composers are Bach and Haydn.