The Family Recital

This is picture was taken of my oldest daughter, in about 1984. She could not really play the piano yet, but I was letting her develop a love for the piano and music. She eventually took piano lessons and then violin lessons. As she grew we also home schooled. We would learn, memorize, make, etc. I looked for a way for them to share their journey with their dad.

Years ago, I hit on an idea to begin a new family tradition-- I called it Family Recital. I wanted an activity that my children could look forward to, so they could share what they were memorizing, music pieces they were learning, and art work they were creating.

When you start a Family Recital night, know that some older children might resist. That is OK. Mom and dad lead out. Give them space. Let anyone participate as they want to. When they see you having a blast and they feel safe, they will be more likely to dip their toe in. Change it up! Try different things. Let your children see you move out of your comfort zone and let them see you overcome difficulties. Let them see you have fun trying! Some ideas for Family Recital night:

 Some ideas for Family Recital Night...

More...

  • Recite original poetry.
  • Perform a skit.
  • Play a musical piece.
  • Sing a song together.
  • Perform a solo, duet, trio or quartet.
  • Show off a Math, Science, Geography, Project.
  • Do a puppet show.
  • Share Art projects.
  • Do a dramatic reading or dramatic choral reading.
  • Recite Bible verses.
  • Tell a family story from your childhood or ancestry.
  • Demonstrate how to do something.
  • Share a craft made, or something sewn...
  • Share dessert or refreshment!!!

Brainstorm your own list. Have fun with it! Share your Family Recital victories and fun with us on the Mentoring Our Own Facebook group! Inspire each other!

Who needs tests? With family recital, they willingly demonstrated what they were learning and doing! At the time we started the Family Recital, we were all taking piano lessons and my 16 year old (same as in the picture) had been taking violin lessons. I wanted an incentive for practice and a place for them to show what they were learning. The Family Recital idea was a success, though admittedly, not very regular. However, as irregular as we were over the years, it all added up! We have heard voice solos, sang alongs together, listened to piano pieces, heard beautiful music of the bowed psaltery, we enjoyed listening to the violin, and we enjoyed guitar performances. We have also heard poetry, original songs, original piano compositions, short speeches, puppet shows, art displays, skits, home school projects, a child reading aloud from their first book (Hop on Pop), fashion shows and more. We also had family member make yummy desserts, which displayed their cooking talents!

Several years ago, I signed my three younger children up for an elocution class. I took the class with them. The class graduation was a dramatic reading of Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream. We held it at our home in the summer. We all dressed the part and sat in a giant circle in our front driveway. I did not care if the neighbors saw. We were having fun! Even my husband, who had not taken the class, joined in and took a part. Other members of the class participated too. This was a form of family recital!

Whether the family recital is grand or simple, this is a wonderful way for children to become appropriately comfortable in front of a group. This is an awesome way for dad to see progress. Family Recitals are also something grandparents can be invited to and to participate in. The Family Recital tradition is a place we can cheer each other on. If parents take the family recital seriously, and join the fun, all the better.

Let's cheer on each other's victories and efforts.

Enjoy the journey.

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