Recitals: Enjoyment or torture?

Recitals… Some of us may have fantastic memories of performing in recitals in our youth while for others, not so much. If the latter sounds like your past experience you may wonder, ‘What is the point of recitals?’ That’s a great question! Hopefully by the end, our reasons for holding recitals as a studio will be clear.


Let’s start off by discussing a different question. Why learn an instrument? More specifically, why is your child learning an instrument? We obviously can’t answer that question for you, but one common response (in addition to the benefits we love to remind people of) is “opportunity.” Opportunity to learn a new skill, opportunity to express oneself, opportunity to serve… Learning an instrument is full of opportunities, and we at Harmony Arts believe service to be among the greatest opportunities available. Our recitals are intended to be just that: an opportunity to share talent in service of others. It also allows the guests who attend to serve the performers by supporting and encouraging them. Our students are still learning, and our recitals are not intended to cause undue stress or overwhelm. Unlike concerts, which are where professionals perform, recitals are where students share their progress with their loved ones and support their peers.

We strive to create an atmosphere where recitals are fulfilling and even fun. We encourage our students to focus on the positive and teach them tips and skills to help them overcome any fears or worries they may have about playing in front of others. Much of this growth and preparation takes place at Piano Performance Masterclass (PPM). Every fall and spring, approximately 3-4 weeks before the Christmas & Spring Piano Recitals, piano students at HAMA participate in a PPM, which is a traditional masterclass where students perform their recital repertoire while we (teachers and students) write comments on their performance. It is a two-way service opportunity that provides a safe place for students to receive feedback on their recital pieces while simultaneously giving their peers the opportunity to practice following along on sheet music, increase their musical vocabulary, and improve their ability to listen and discriminate by leaving feedback on comment cards provided by the studio. It also encourages students to memorize their pieces ahead of time and allows them to gain experience that will help them become more comfortable playing for others. For additional encouragement to focus on the positive, we have a Performance Journal accessible to our students, (see your child’s private teacher for details).


To further promote our recitals as service opportunities and a safe place for our students to share their talents, we have recital etiquette that we ask the musicians and guests alike to abide by. When attending a recital, please arrive on time, silence all devices, and stay until the recital is over. All of our students work diligently to prepare and deserve a full audience. Listen quietly. Even whispering can be distracting to those performing and sends a message of disinterest, even if that is not the intent. If young ones become noisy, please take them out so others may continue to enjoy the performance. When should you clap? A good rule of thumb is to wait until the performer stands. That way you won’t accidentally distract in between movements of a multi-movement work. We also ask our students to bow and smile after their performance as a show of gratitude for the audience. Overall respect throughout helps make the recital a good experience for everyone.


Piano Performance Masterclass and recitals are part of the Harmony Arts learning experience. PPMs do not cost extra, they simply replace the private lesson of the week they are scheduled for. There is a FEE for recitals so we can pay staff members for their help, and all students pay the fee whether they are present for recital or not. An alternate performance can be arranged if your family will be out of town on recital weekend. Sign up for ONE time of your choice; be sure to sign up early if you have a busy schedule. In the case of PPM, only the students need to attend. Be sure they are signed up for a slot when they can remain for the entire class. In the case of recitals, please sign up for a time that you and any friends and family who plan to attend can remain for the entire recital so that all performers can have a full audience. To sign up:

  • Login to the Parent Portal – This is the ONLY way, and you MUST sign up to attend!
    • Go to the Harmony Arts Parent Portal
    • Login with your email and Jackrabbit password that you set up (or click on “forgot your password or need to get started”).  Now you are on the Jackrabbit Parent Portal.  
  • Click on the“Event Registration” tab, then click on “Event Calendar”.  
  • Click on the event you want to sign up for, and if it is NOT full, it will allow you to register.  
  • Each student has to be signed up individually, but you can register multiple students for the same event at once.

For Piano Performance Masterclass, students may wear regular school attire. They need to bring their lesson binder, Assignment Notebook, 3 copies of all recital pieces, and a pencil. Performers must wear best dress attire to recitals and need only bring sheet music if playing a duet. Family and friends may wear casual attire to recitals.

PPM is for ALL PPC students and ALL Private Piano Students.

Recitals are for ALL Private Students (Drums, Guitar, Piano and Voice) AND all PPC students.