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  • Cristina Sparacino

A Different Type of Recital

With all the changes that 2020 has brought upon us, I knew there would be so many things taken away from our students and I couldn't believe that this would be the first year without our traditional music recital. We usually host our Spring Festival in May and our Holiday Festival in December and this year would have been my 19th Spring Recital with Music Matters. I started teaching online like many of our teachers in March and by April, I could already see a shift in my students' motivation, personalities and I not only wanted to be there for each of them to keep them learning, but I really cared about their mental state through this time. I really saw how many felt alone when they lost several performance outlets such as theater and school performance events.


I knew that live performances would be just about impossible in the month of May. We didn't want to put our teachers, students or families at risk. I knew we had to cancel our Spring Festival, but I still wanted all of our teachers to keep their students practicing and preparing music. If we just did a live stream event or videos without having something to motivate, I thought the students wouldn't really put in as much effort. When we finally decided to give away 12 awesome prizes, we still didn't feel right about not rewarding EVERYONE so we came up with the idea of giving every student a "Swag Bag" that included goodies just for entering the festival. We knew that they needed a performance outlet and we saw their spirits lifted at the thought of a competition!


I knew that this wouldn't be easy as many students don't have high quality sound equipment to make videos that would capture the best audio, but I knew that the students would have something to look forward to and they are often their worst critic so even preparing just one video would take a lot of effort to get it to their liking. I wanted to keep this less serious and more fun, but I always wanted the goal to be kept in focus..Practice often, work to be the best that you can be and make sure to find the joy in playing. The journey may be difficult at times, but you need to enjoy it along the way.


I am so excited to watch EVERY single video and I hope that you enjoy them and share this festival with family and friends!


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