What is a Senior Recital?

How Parents Can Help Music Majors with Their Big Performance

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The senior recital is the big event for graduating music students. It is exciting and stressful and is the showcase of everything they have learned while studying music at college.

As a parent of a music major, it is important to know how much work your student puts into their senior recital. There are even a few ways that you can help make their big day truly memorable!

What is a Senior Recital?

Consider the senior recital the first big performance of what hopes to be a promising career!

Much as a music jury concludes each semester for a music major, a senior recital is the culmination of a music major's entire academic career. It is their time to shine.

Senior recitals typically last from 45 minutes to an hour. It is a concert that will include solo and chamber performances to demonstrate the student's talent. For composition majors, it will be a sample of their composing skills.

Planning a Senior Recital

A lot of work goes into planning a senior recital and your music student will be busy with every single detail. In the final weeks, it is likely your young musician will be working around the clock, with rehearsals at all hours of the day and night and many last-minute details.

They will be practicing their solos and organize colleagues from the music department for the chamber works. The practice schedule alone is a huge undertaking.

There are other details that they must attend to as well:

  • Booking the performance hall
  • Designing and printing the programs
  • Gathering and inviting the audience

The senior recital is designed to not only show off the student's musical talent but also their ability to mount a production and work with other musicians. It is a very practical experience that they will find useful as they begin their career.

How Parents Can Help with a Senior Recital

For many music majors, the senior recital is a bigger deal than graduation. Parents, extended family, friends and, often, former music teachers attend.

Moral Support

The stress and excitement can be overwhelming, especially in that final week when it can seem like nothing is going right!

One of the best things you can do for your student is to be there for support if they need to vent, scream, or cry. Of course, they are going to be busy and may not have time to talk every day. A quick phone call to check in, even a text saying you're proud of them can help relieve stress.

Physical Support

Parents typically host a post-concert reception for the musicians and guests. This can number anywhere from a few dozen to several hundred people.

You may also offer to help send out recital invitations ahead of time. Some parents bring flowers for the accompanists as well.