Re-Imagining the Music Degree Recital

Music school curricula are filled with requirements. And all requirements show bias.  As a result of these rules, students’ priorities are heavily influenced (whether they know it or not).  So what lessons are being taught?  Are expectations likely to cultivate savvy entrepreneurial artists with the maximum potential for professional success?  Let’s consider the degree recital.

Degree recitals are a staple of every music performance program.  The following requirements are typical:

  

  • Artistic excellence.  High level performance is mandatory.
  • Specified solo literature.  There are often repertoire regulations ensuring a well-balanced event featuring pieces from different eras.  For example, violinists may be expected to include a Bach solo suite, classical sonata, Romantic work, and something contemporary.  Each piece must feature the recital giver, whether on a single instrument work, composition with piano accompaniment, or concerto.
  • Venue.  The performance must be held in a pre-determined hall, usually in the music building.

So what does our current degree recital teach young musicians?  Playing a standard and balanced solo program in a pre-determined space at a high level equates to success.

The problem—it’s not true! 

Now consider the outcomes if we were bold enough to re-imagine the degree recital. Obviously, artistic excellence should remain top priority.  But what if one or two additional aspects were stressed?  Below is a sampling of the types of expectations that could be incorporated.

  1. Attracting audiences. If musicians can’t pack a free recital, how will they ever attract paying customers down this road? With this requirement, 100 attendees equals an A, 80 results in a B, and so forth. It doesn’t matter who’s in the audience— fellow music students, school children, church members, senior citizens bussed from a nursing home. Just fill the seats.
  2. Attracting new audiences.  A twist on the previous point. Performers specifically seek and engage audiences not typically involved with the musical genre they perform.
  3. Off-campus show. Students are typically required to perform in a given on-campus venue. Consider the lessons learned if students were asked to identify an off-campus venue or series, coordinate efforts with the presenter, and follow through on all logistical concerns. This could be anywhere: public school, library, park, museum, private residence, etc.
  4. Multiple performances.  Another possibility would be requiring both on and off campus performances. This also provides students more than one opportunity to perform music they have worked so diligently to prepare.
  5. Revenue generation. To succeed as a professional, we must be able to exchange art for income. A recital presents an opportunity to sell tickets, merchandise, and related services. And it’s easy to apply quantitative standards–$200+ is an A, etc. Money earned could be applied to some kind of meaningful project related to the music school.
  6. Public relations. A recital is the perfect occasion for learning how the media works, both mainstream and Internet. Students are asked to imagine a newsworthy angle for their show, write a press release, and pitch it to actual media sources. They register their concert with Internet event calendars, and approach radio stations.   
  7. Marketing. Performers are required to draw up and enact a multi-faceted promotional plan, which includes branding, buzz marketing, social media, traditional advertising, and other techniques.
  8. Chamber music. Most school recitals focus on solo literature. Yet professionals are more likely to perform chamber music.  Why not allow the option of a chamber recital, even if none of the pieces specifically feature the degree recipient as a solo voice? They are responsible for organizing rehearsals, shaping interpretation, and leading the efforts.
  9. Unique programming.  While balanced literature requirements ensure that musicians become familiar with a range of musical styles, they often result with concerts that are generic and lack unity or “brand.” Instead, students can be asked to create programs with a central theme, compelling angle, or unusual approach. In the real world, niche programming is expected for recording and performing artists.
  10. Your own voice. Each student is required to include at least one element completely unique to them: an original composition, premier, new arrangement, interdisciplinary adventure, combination of instruments, secondary skills, etc.
  11. Collaboration. A recital is the perfect opportunity to work collaboratively, and not just with musicians. Possibilities include student/professional dancers, film makers, actors, visual artists, writers (to compose program notes), costume designers, lighting designers, stage designer, marketers, publicists, individuals connected to concert theme, etc.
  12. Audience engagement. For most student recitals, the audience is completely ignored.  The soloist doesn’t speak a word, and hides backstage during intermission. Why not require some kind of engaging and interactive activity that draws the audience in?  (“Lecture recitals” don’t count—they are often as dreadful and academic as the title suggests.)  
  13. Education. Students are required to design and administer an educational teaching artist event at a local school or community built around one or more of their recital pieces.

Obviously, it’s not possible for every student do all these things on each recital.  But focusing on just one or two elements in addition to performance excellence would have a huge impact.  Perhaps the students themselves could decide which challenge they’d like to conquer. 

NOTE TO SAVVY STUDENTS

Who cares if these are official requirements?  Why not impose a few on yourself?

True, incorporating additional challenges like the ones outlined above is time intensive. But it also offers experiential and real time lessons, emphasizing that success requires a whole lot more than great playing on a formulaic program. Re-imagining the music degree recital presents an exciting opportunity to better prepare students to thrive as professionals.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Share and Enjoy:
  • email
  • Print
  • RSS
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Technorati
  • StumbleUpon
  • Mixx
  • Blogplay
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Yahoo! Buzz

485 Responses to “Re-Imagining the Music Degree Recital”

  1. Howdy! I am also a trainer. I appreciate you for having such an cool post. Being from Blountsville , has granted me with a effective grasping on what is needed to travel to Oneonta. My Partner And I will go on to come and browse your blog site to better grasp where to go after we arrive to Atlanta ga. Remember to continue writing and furnish us your insights on Vincennes University (IN). Hope to see you before long at the future job fair at Fannie Mae. Thanks.

  2. Benny Wisely says:

    Hola. We appreciate your viewing my blog. I was delighted to learn that we were both brought up in Leighton and went to Wisconsin Lutheran College (WI). Choosing to go to that institution and becoming a Bulldozer / Grader Operator has assisted me to better adjust staying near the river. Looking forward to seeing your video after you go to our slope. Kindly forward my respect to your mother and father. Regards

  3. Hello. I have not been on this page since may. It was only because I was on the way to Denver because of my role at McDonald’s Corporation. It requires a whole lot of time from me, but I still think about your article. I remember our days at Chipola College (FL) in Florida. So delighted that we had a experience to compete close the playground. If you please send my respect to Mary along with chris. Goodbye

  4. Xavier Fales says:

    Greetings. I appreciate you for checking my url. I was thrilled to hear that we were both raised in Lester and went to Wilmington University (DE). Getting to that class and becoming a Artists Agent (Manager) has really helped me to better adjust residing close the river. Looking forward to finding your video soon after you travel to our own slope. Make sure you send my compliments to your folks. Many thanks

  5. homepage says:

    Wonderful post! We are linking to this particularly great article on our website. Keep up the great writing.|

  6. Hi. I am a completely new Cargo and Freight Agents and was looking to better be equipped for my responsibility at American International Group. That is the reason I came to your blog page. Being raised in Columbia and on the way to school at Loyola University Chicago (IL) in Summerdale, has helped me to plan for my destiny. My mother and father were also professors and they advised me about this write-up right after studying Mr McGee and the Big Bag of Bread. Be grateful to you

  7. Justa Mura says:

    Nice page. I was lucky to come across this since I was also conceived in New York State. in addition, I appreciate you for showing up at Bay Area and making me to better to learn culinary skills. This made it easier for me with my admittance to University of arizona. Getting excited about seeing you in our cottage and catch up with our golf game.

  8. Morning. I have not been available since summer. It was because I was going to Iowa because of my business at TJX Companies, Inc.. This requires a considerable amount of time from me, but I still think about your piece. I remember our days at College for Creative Studies (MI) in Florida. So thrilled that we had a ability to play near the park. Please forward my compliments to Margaret as well as chris. Salut

  9. Hi there! We are also a guide. I appreciate you for setting up such an interesting message. Being from Bremen , has granted me with a perfect grasping on what is involved to drive to Wilsonville. My Spouse will keep working to come and examine your blog site to better learn where to go once we arrive to Atlanta. Please keep on publishing and present us your feelings on University of Northwestern Ohio (OH). Plan to see you very soon at the upcoming job fair at Amazon.com Inc.. Bye-bye.

  10. Remarkable write-up. I was lucky to discover this since I was also given birth to in the big apple. also, we appreciate your coming to Paris and aiding me to better figure out baking skills. This made it simpler for me with my admittance to University of texas. Looking forward to seeing you in our cabin and catch up with our golf game.

  11. Preço do tuning vai depender do proporção de modificação que você já chegar e também também, a qualidade das peças.

  12. We all know that the i – Phone does not come with an FM radio,
    but it definitely can play new music releases (Sibellesblog.Weebly.com) from internet radio stations.
    Films are reviewed as theatre rather than as a unique art form.
    Because we are all instinctive voyeurs, naturally interested in the stories of each other’s lives we
    are more drawn to third party endorsements than to other kinds of advertisements.

  13. I just wanted to thank you once more for this remarkable internet site you’ve got built here. Its full of valuable suggestions for those that are definitely interested in this topic, particularly this quite post. Your all so sweet and also thoughtful of others and reading the blog posts is really a very good delight to me. And thats a generous surprise! Jeff and I are going to have excitement creating use of your points in what we should do within the near future. Our listing is a distance long and tips is going to be put to fine use. Prishtina Reisen

  14. Hola. Thank you for visiting my blog. I was glad to find out that we were both raised in Athens and attended Winthrop University (SC). Going to that classes and becoming a Boat Builder has supported me to better adjust staying close the ocean. Looking forward to viewing your snapshot whenever you go to our own mountain peak. Remember to give my regards to your mother and father. Regards

  15. Hey there. We appreciate your checking my web blog. I was happy to see that we were both raised in Pisgah and attended Wilson College (PA). Heading off to that class and becoming a Building Maintenance Mechanic has really helped me to better adjust living around the canal. Looking forward to finding your snapshot soon after you stop by our own slope. Make sure you give my thanks to your mom. Regards

  16. Hello. I am a new Cardiologist (MD) and was who wish to better be equipped for my opportunity at Pfizer Inc.. This is exactly why I came to your writings. Being raised in Anniston and attending to school at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center–Shreveport in Carlton, has assisted me to get ready for my future. My folks were also course instructors and they advised me about this document after studying Our Grandparents: a Global Album. Thank you

  17. Greetings. I am a new Broadcast News Analyst and was planning to better be prepared for my opportunity at Apple Computer, Inc. This is precisely why I came to your web log. Being grown in Chancellor and going to school at Louisiana Tech University (LA) in Plantersville, has helped me to prepare for my destiny. My mom and dad were also course instructors and they told me about this document as a result of reading Dave & Violet. Thanks a ton

  18. Los productos Liebherr poseen una amplia historia en Europa y una sólida posición en el mercado, lo que hace a los clientes decidirse por buscar cada vez más un servicio técnico Liebherr en Madrid especializado para seguir manteniendo la vida de estos productos. Por ejemplo, consideran mucho más rentable conseguir recambios Liebherr y reemplazar cualquier pieza original en la máquina, que debido a su uso diario ha sufrido deterioro una avería, antes de pensar en cambiar el producto completo. En USATEL, S.A. nos caracterizamos por ofrecerles a nuestros clientes la garantía de un buen servicio.

  19. Whoah this weblog is great i love studying your articles. Keep up the great work! You know, many people are searching around for this info, you could aid them greatly.

  20. Amazing! Its actually awesome paragraph, I have got much clear idea concerning from this paragraph.

  21. How do i find exactly who publish links from my blog posts to facebook?

  22. Now i’m wondering how can I make my blog in blogspot available via google internet search? I’ve truly seen several blogs that can easily become googled but mine will not likely show in google at all..

  23. Why perform copyright holders only allow people from certain countries to view their particular content?

  24. Does WordPress save all blogs to only one particular file? If so , what file could it be?

  25. Hey there. Thank you for viewing my internet site. I was cheerful to see that we were both raised in Gurley and attended Winthrop University (SC). Deciding to go to that classes and becoming a Athletic Coach has really helped me to better adjust sticking to near the pond. Looking forward to finding your pic soon after you inspect our own mountain peak. Remember give my respect to your parents. Thank you so much

  26. Hey there! I am likewise a music teacher. Thank you for making such an lively guide. Being from Cropwell , has equipped me with a great knowledge on what is needed to fly to Miami. My Family And I will continue to come and check up your blog site to better figure out where to go when we get to Atlanta. You need to keep on posting and present us your thoughts on Wake Forest University (NC). Plan to see you in the near future at the future job fair at Freddie Mac. Have a good day.

  27. How can I gain access to my home computer that is definitely hooked up to a router through my work pc to view webcam?

  28. Hi. I am a new Billing Specialist and was trying to better be prepared for my opportunity at Cardinal Health, Inc. This is the reason I came to your web-site. Being grown in Cragford and going to class at Loyola University New Orleans (LA) in Catherine, has assisted me to plan for my future. My folks are also educators and they shared with me about this post as a result of reading Who Sank the Boat?. Thank you

  29. Gday! I am likewise a music teacher. Thank you for having such an beneficial write up. Being from Dolomite , has furnished me with a good idea on what is required to visit to Tuscaloosa. My Spouse will go on to come and check your site to better learn where to go after we drive to suwanee. You need to keep posting and give us your ideas on Vanderbilt University (TN). Expect to see you very soon at the future job fair at Staples, Inc.. Thanks.

  30. purple fascinator says:

    Enjoyed examining this, very good stuff, appreciate it. “While thou livest keep a good tongue in thy head.” by William Shakespeare.

  31. I do believe all of the concepts you’ve presented for your post. They’re very convincing and can definitely work. Still, the posts are very short for starters. May you please extend them a bit from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.

  32. I have to come up with two pages for creative writing. Do you have any suggestions that I might use, or a subject for by paper? Thank you!.

  33. How can i change opera from recalling my facebook info?

Leave a Reply

Powered by Wordpress | Designed by I Design Blogs