Why Have Concerts? - By Maddy Kelly, Mini Maestros Head of Teaching
The Mini Maestros concerts are a wonderful way to celebrate our year of learning and confidence building together. They provide an opportunity for children to present their love of music and share their learning with friends and family.
This experience encourages children to appear in front of a loving and supportive audience, which in turn builds their confidence in public settings and provides them with a sense of empowerment and achievement. Many parents of past graduates have attributed their child’s ability to present enthusiastically at school assemblies, performances and even reading solo in class, to the early performance opportunities provided at Mini Maestros classes and concerts.
In addition, concerts allow children to watch their peers and learn how to be part of an audience. This is integral for the development of listening, and critical thinking skills (analysis). Research suggests that children learn best from their peers, and our observations over the years confirm this. Children absolutely love watching the other age groups, as it allows them to see the skills and activities that are coming up as they progress through the program, as well as look back on how far they have come.
Mini Maestros' approach to concert preparation is very informal. Activities chosen will be familiar to children, and will be practiced in class as part of the usual lesson structure. Your Mini Meastros teacher may begin by scattering concert activities throughout the lesson, so it just feels as if they are part of the regular class. As the term progresses and the concert gets closer, the teacher will present the concert activities together, so everyone can get a feel for how it will run on the day.
‘Stage fright’ is a common concern in the lead up to concerts. It’s easy to create nervous anticipation toward an expectation of wanting to ‘perform well’, however it is important to remember that the Mini Maestros concerts are all about having a go and sharing in the joy of music. There is no need to put unnecessary pressure on our children by anticipating an outcome or expecting a ‘perfect performance’.
Each child will likely experience the concert in their own way, and are invited to participate in whichever way they feel comfortable. For some children, this might mean joining in from an audience position, which is absolutely fine, because from the child’s perspective they will feel like they have participated alongside their peers, (even if they only watch). Some children may even stand on the stage and do nothing at all, however they feel like they have participated just by getting up there and being in front of an audience. Just being there is a huge accomplishment, and this is to be celebrated.
Possibly the most interesting trend we have noticed is that we cannot always predict who will be most comfortable on stage, based on the classroom personality. Many times we have been amazed by the more reserved child who absolutely shines on stage, and embraces the opportunity to express themselves in full!
The most important thing to remember is that our concerts are about having fun! As teachers we agree it’s our favourite day of the year, as it’s always so full of joy. We love the opportunity to bring all the children and families come together, developing our sense of community and celebrating all our incredible tiny singers and musicians.
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