In the midst of this post-recital haze, brought on by not adequately evaluating the amount of mental and physical drain imposed by the process, I have developed a new attitude. I now have a better understanding of what to do in the future. There are scores of advice on what to do leading up to a recital, but little comments on life post-recital.
Leading up to the recital, obviously prepare all of the material, but make sure to square away plans with your friends and family. The sooner the better; develop a game plan so that during the week leading up to the recital, you can focus solely on your material, not about organizing a family get together. If possible, recruit someone to help in this matter. Also, make sure basic necessities, like food and bills, are addressed properly.
Enjoy the moment; that time on the stage will not happen again. Let go and express yourself. If you forget a passage, so what, roll with the punches and move onto the next part. People are there to hear you play, reward them aurally for dedicating their time to you.
I believe that it’s appropriate to take some time off, a vacation, if you will. After my recital I was not afforded such an opportunity, but if possible, I highly recommend at least a good week of recuperation.
Take this time to look at new repertoire, listen to new music, examine future opportunities (but beware, during this process more questions seem to arise than answers), or re-watch Game of Thrones…. However you choose to spend your time, once you return to the practice room, you will feel refreshed and invigorated. I always find that after hiatuses, it seems as if I’m hearing the piano anew, with fresh ears.
I have found that life continues on normally, no matter how big the moment. Change might be apparent immediately, or over time, but the daily routine still must be completed. Working on little goals that are part of a larger whole, chipping away bit-by-bit until they are completed, only to restart the entire process anew. That’s life. It’s never ending, but isn’t that why we love music in the first place?
I want to rid myself of this mentality of working towards this big culminating goal, and letting it define you, as opposed to viewing it as a piece of the puzzle, a moment that moves towards a lifetime of musical understanding. What are goals in the end? In music, certainly there can be aspirations, but eventually time takes its toll. Hopefully when it arrives, we have enjoyed our time progressing through ‘the hoops.’