Recital Time! (Part 2 – Drums n’ Moore)
With one recital in the books, the second came the following weekend. Drums n’ Moore‘s School of Music spring recital included more than just drums and percussion, making for an interesting afternoon of hearing young, developing musicians share their accomplishments.
While the Brass Bell recital of the previous weekend was comprised entirely of my own students, the Drums n’ Moore’s spring recital was for all students of their School of Music. This meant that, along with my drum and percussion students, there was also piano, clarinet, cello, violin, viola, and saxophone. The age of students ranged from about 7 to 18, of varying experience levels.
I had three students participating in the day’s festivities. The first was Lola, with whom I’ve been working for about a year. A few months ago she brought in a recording of Alabama Shakes’ hit, ‘Hold On,’ expressing a desire to play it. While this was a little outside of the current course study I decided to embrace her enthusiasm and channel it toward the development of her ability to play with others (in this case, recorded others). We started with a simplified quarter note based beat that she could keep. Then, we evolved the pattern to an eighth note beat in half-time. Lola did a wonderful job with it at the recital and will be able to continue her growth by building on her success.
My next student was Oliver. While I’ve only been working with Oliver for a relatively short time he has demonstrated aptitude in understanding and applying drum set concepts and listening skills. His recital piece was a demonstration of grooving and filling with a drum-less accompaniment mp3 track. His groove used both hi-hat and ride cymbal and his fills were varied, using all the drums at his disposal. He really laid down a strong groove and locked in to the accompaniment track. His fills were always different and interesting, punctuating them with big crash cymbals – great performance!
Lastly, I had Isaac playing ‘On, Wisconsin!’ on the bells. Isaac is a big contributor to his school’s marching band and has been coming to me to help develop his musical skills so that he can broaden his contribution to other components of percussion. To that end we’ve been working on mallet percussion (among other things) and ‘On, Wisconsin!’ seemed like an excellent selection. Isaac’s dedication served him well and watching his progress in preparing this piece over the recent weeks has been great. The audience loved hearing the popular marching band fight song in a new context and Isaac took great satisfaction in their applause 🙂
While recitals can be fraught with nerves and anxiety (and nothing ever goes perfectly) the process of planning, preparing, and performing for a live audience gives students an irreplaceable experience. It gives them a concrete project with a definite date that they alone must deliver. This invariably causes them to re-evaluate and improve their practice habits. Through this process students also tend to refine their personal musical standards – they really want to be good! They get to see what others students are doing, they get to share their own progress with their family and peers, and they get to hear appreciations for their accomplishments. For these reasons and more I strongly encourage participation in studio recitals when the opportunity arises. Congratulations to all my students who participated in the recent spring recitals!