Friday, September 27, 2013


So far, I've taken you from the early stages of memorization, when you were just learning to put a few notes together, to the middle stages of memorization, where you developed a real discipline for maintaining your memorized piece. Now we're fast-forwarding to that point when you've memorized enough repertoire to play a half or full recital. Congratulations!

This is a big leap. You've already played some practice performances of your individual pieces, but you now should schedule one or two practice performances of your entire recital. (I hope you have a lot of friends!)

From there, or even before then, you'll need to book the real deal: not practice performances, but a real, public recital. But before you book your recital, you need to think about how and where those performances are going to take place. If you're like I was, you haven't done a lot of playing from memory, and recital venue and format will be very important to your success.

Aside from those logistics, you need to think about the logistics of preparing a recital. Sure, you've already memorized and practice-performed each piece on the program, but how are you going to keep the ball in the air for an entire recital? And if you've let some pieces rest for a while, how are you going to bring them back? This is all a matter of pacing and, to some extent, endurance. 

We're almost at the end of this blog journey. Just as writing the final chapters of this blog may make me work a little less carefully than when I started the blog, the weeks before a recital can result in some of the worst, sloppiest practice. We get impatient when we see the finish line, and our minds may already be on other projects.

However, with careful planning, patience, and deliberate work, you can arrive at your recital knowing that you've made your best effort. Even more importantly, you'll arrive at your recital knowing that you'll be playing better than you ever have! This is the confidence that makes for remarkable music making.