Some children love performing and some children loathe it. What is the value of performing and should we be focusing on this at the studio?

There are many ways we can promote performance, but some parents think that performance is the only reason to play the piano. It is a loud instrument, why else would you learn to play if not to entertain others? I disagree. I have always enjoyed playing the most when I am entertaining myself. There is much joy to be had through playing, and it has the ability to fill happy hours, calm at times of stress, energise when we feel down. Spiritually and emotionally playing piano can serve us well. Being actively involved in music also helps stimulate all areas of the brain, hence improving learning ability in other areas.

Performing puts enormous stress on a child as well as taking up a lot of studio time. Therefore Music Adventures is not a performance-based studio. There are many other studios that do focus on this side of music.

Having said that, a talented child will need practice at performance, especially if they head towards music as a career. Performance opportunities can be provided when required and, for building confidence, I encourage regular performance in a number of small ways. Overlapping lessons can give the opportunity to play for other children in a casual manner. From time to time we will invite family members and friends to enjoy a short recital in lesson time. I prefer these ways to the formal studio concert though this may happen in the future. For certain children Eisteddfods are possible.

Each child will also have the opportunity of sitting an annual exam, which means performing in front of an examiner. Where possible I suggest you encourage your child to perform completed pieces to family and friends at home and also at school. Schools are often surprised to find pupils who play, so make sure your school knows.