Why Have Concerts? - By Emma Hart, Fomer 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 building community through inter-generational social time, and most importantly, allow our children to present their love of music and learning before a very supportive and loving audience.
One of the primary benefits of an experience such as this, is the building of confidence in public settings. 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.
Further still, 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, which gives them and their families a marker of how far they’ve come, or what to look forward to in the year ahead.
‘Stage fright’ is a common concern in the lead up to concerts. Much of the anxiety around performance is linked to the anticipation of an expected outcome. This is possibly something we have all experienced in the lead up to exams and wanting to ‘perform well’. It is important to remember that we don’t need to put unnecessary pressure on our children by anticipating an outcome or suggesting how they should ‘perform’.
Mini Maestros' approach to concert preparation is very informal. Activities chosen will be familiar to children, and will be practised in class as part of the usual lesson structure. Similarly, we keep things very simple and informal on the day of the concert. Children 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). 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, because it brings us all together as the grand family of musicians we are, sharing the same love and bringing a little bit more joy to the world.
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