Why Go to a Recital?
Written by Mrs. Kim Ledgerwood. As the wife of Maranatha’s Music Department Chair, Kim attends nearly every music recital performed on campus.
We could just as easily ask “Why go to a wrestling match?” or “Why go to a symposium on classroom management?” or “Why go to a best practices seminar on successful corporate meetings?” The answers are the same for all:
- You like or are interested in the event.
- You want to support someone who is involved in the event.
- You are required to attend by a parent, teacher, administrator, boss, government official, or someone else who wields some power to make you suffer for not going.
- You want to grow yourself.
Perhaps the question is less, “Why go?” and more, “What is the best reason to go?” While any of the above reasons are valid, the one with the greatest ability to take you beyond the interest and expertise limits imposed on your life is reason #4: you want to grow yourself. A sports fanatic ought to know how to comfortably carry him or herself at a musical recital. A budding musician should be able to enjoy a wrestling match. The business world should be deeply interested in what educators say they are doing to prepare future business workers, and, of course, teachers need to be interested in everything because that is the crux of classroom management: knowing where students are in order to tool them to go further than they ever imagined they could go.
But back to recitals. Why should you attend a recital…or a whole series of recitals, concerts, plays over the four years you spend at Maranatha?
- Some of you will like the events. No matter what the recital, some people will find a way to be at them all, or most of them because they enjoy participating in live-music events: especially ones that cost nothing and do not require driving long distances to experience.
- Some will come to support those participating: the students or faculty, church members, friends, dorm mates. Of course, anyone playing in a recital appreciates the effort you make to dress up a bit and take an hour to pay attention to the result of their private hours of practice and preparation.
- Some will come because you are forced to attend. Hard as is it to believe, the reason someone is requiring you to march off to a music event you know nothing about, is really about reason #4, so how you embrace the enforced attendance says more about your character than about the actual rule to attend.
- Some will buy up the opportunity to grow themselves. Over four years, you can hear instruments you’ve never heard played “live” before. You can learn to sit quietly and stay awake at the same time. You can practice conversation skills with people you don’t know…recitals often have “real” people from the community attending, rather than just other college students. Sometimes you can even talk to a teacher or administrator in a social context. If you attend enough recitals, the “it all sounds the same: boring” will begin to crystallize into pieces you find beautiful and engaging, others you can tolerate, and some you understand are calling for great skill from the player(s). Through it all, you’ll be expanding your adult portfolio.
And that adult portfolio is going to be the most valuable thing you walk away from college with, in most cases, even more valuable that the actual degree you earn. So don’t waste your opportunity. Get to as many recitals, special speaking events, sporting activities, as you can. Talk to as many teachers and administrators out of class as you can. Make every opportunity count. See you at the next recital, and the one after that, as well.