We just finished our first recital of 2020 and it was definitely one for the books. It seemed that all of the students came so well prepared and had obviously been practicing very hard. It was such a great day that we wanted to go over a few takeaways regarding the new recital format as well as new things we want to introduce into this wonderful event in the future.

Unlike previous recitals we’ve done, this was the first recital where we split the participation roster into two separate sessions. We decided to try this due to the length of the previous recital. In the last recital we had over 55 participants so the recital went on for over 2 hours and we wanted to avoid this and avoid the subtle decrease in audience as the participants left over time. This time around, we had about 45 participants and we split them up into a 10:00 am session(Music Lab Granite Bay location’s students) and an 11:30 am session(Music Lab Rocklin location’s students). This seemed to workout amazingly as each session lasted around 45-50 minutes. In the beginning of each session, we mentioned to the audience that since the sessions are much shorter this time around, we asked that they stay for the entire time to show all of our students are full love and support. At the end of the day, they purpose of these recitals is to give students a unique opportunity to play in front of a crowd of people. Splitting up the recital into two sessions was obviously the right way to go and we will continue this model in the future as everyone seemed to love the new format.

Now that we’ve done the recital about 5 times now, we noticed a huge sense of community in this recital in particular. The audience was very engaged, we had a large amount of instructors show up, everyone was taking videos, etc… This sense of engagement has inspired the Music Lab leadership team to include band performances in future recitals via our band program that we have started as well called the “Jam Lab”. The Jam Lab is an amazing way to get students into a group and learn how to play in a band. This also gives those students a chance to perform without feeling the nervous aspect of performing completely on their own. This is actually a big reason that students drop out of the recital last second. They feel way too nervous about performing on stage on their own. The Jam Lab gives them an opportunity to perform but as part of a band so that they are not completely on their own. We are planning on having the Jam Lab monthly so once we have a few of these Jam Lab sessions under our belt, we will begin forming bands among our students to perform at recitals. How cool would that be!? We are excited about this new development in our program and can’t want to see our students perform as bands. This will continue to increase the Music Lab sense of community. At the end of the day, the most powerful aspect of music is community. You don’t have to speak the same language, don’t have to have the same political views, don’t have to be the same religion, etc… yet common ground can very easily be found with music. This is the awesome power of music that transcends all these barriers.

We also wanted to take a second and give some recognition to the venue that allows us to make these recitals happen. We’ve held our recitals at Bayside Folsom for the past 3 recitals and we are very grateful for their hospitality towards us. As the participants were able to see, the venue is practically as perfect as it gets for a music school recital. The venue is the perfect size, the sound staff and equipment is absolutely world class, and there are many customizations we are able to do such as put our logo all over the screens in the lobby as well as on stage. Normally, venues like this cost thousands of dollars to rent out but Bayside has been very gracious in allowing a small business to use it without much sacrifice on our end so that we can keep the recital free for our students. We are extremely grateful for what Bayside Folsom has done for the Music Lab and if you ever have a chance to show gratitude as a student to Bayside Folsom in any way, we encourage you to do so! The Music Lab recital event wouldn’t be where it is today without Bayside Folsom and the students’ futures are directly benefiting as a result.

Lastly, we wanted to finish this blog talking about the most important part of the recital and our business itself: the students. We were honestly blown away with this recital. In our Rocklin 2nd session, we had a student, Braeden, start us off playing a beautiful piece in his new acoustic guitar. This led to students such as, Astiaj, a child no older than a 4thgrade student, absolutely blow the crowd away with his flawless energy filled performance playing “Lane Boy” by 21 Pilots. Another drum student, Leeroy, a 6th grade student, also blew the crowd away with an amazing performance of “Everlong” by the Foo Fighters. The excellence of the technique that Leeroy played with along with the energy he brought to the drum kit was truly amazing for a student his age. We also had students such as Lianna perform a piano piece all on her own after only playing and taking lessons with us for a couple months. This is an amazing achievement for a student at her age to already be willing to play on stage in the bright lights. We also had a very young student by the name of Esteban play an original song on the piano that he wrote himself. What struck us about this performance is that it was a great sounding piece with a verse and chorus, had a motif that catches the ear, and sounded like it was regular classical piano piece. As Music Lab instructors, this makes us extremely proud to see students being so proactive in their craft. In this recital, we had our very first bass performance in Music Lab recital history! A student, Monsour, played “Longview” by Greenday and, of course, played it flawlessly. We can’t wait to see Monsour’s potential in our band program. We can go on and on but I think you get the point. There were so many different aspects of this recital that completely blew our minds away. We are so proud and most importantly our hearts are full. If you haven’t signed up for a recital in the past as a student, please do so! It will challenge you, push you, and you will have an absolute blast seeing your peers performing as well. See you all soon!