Music students strengthen performance skills through recitals

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 A student recital is a unique musical experience. There will be several recitals next semester at SDSU. Attendees of student recitals on campus will have the opportunity to hear fellow students and classmates sing their hearts out and shoot for perfection while performing selected pieces on an instrument of their choice. 

Seniors in the Music Department are required to give a senior recital, a perfomance in front of an audience, as part of the curriculum. 

Students can also do an optional recital their junior year as practice for the required senior recital. Cory Cordie, a senior music education major, has done a junior recital and is now preparing for his senior recital which will take place next semester. 

For a senior recital, a student works with their instructor several months in advance to plan what pieces the student will perform. Often times the student will choose a theme for their recital. 

According to Laura Diddle, director of choral activities, a student must choose pieces that are artistic music. The music must not be pop music, but pieces that are recognized as being created by scholarly artists. Students can choose from a wide selection of music that falls within several distinct music periods: Renaissance, Baroque, Romantic, Classical, 20th century and 21st century. 

“They [students] perform music as early as the 1600s up until current day,” Diddle said. “We [at the music department] think it is important that students experience a wide variety of repertoire – not simply one genre or style of music.” 

After selecting their repertoire of music, students will begin the challenging task of practice and memorization for their recital. 

According to Cordie, students preparing for a recital will spend up to six months – over 70 hours – perfecting their craft and memorizing their pieces. 

Students will often practice in front of others to get comfortable with having an audience. 

“Once you have been playing a piece in front of people a hundred times, by the time you get up on stage for that last one, you should be pretty well developed and comfortable with the piece,” Cordie said. 

Recitals usually are 60 minutes long and generally feature a student either singing or playing the piano, but a recital is not restricted to these two areas. 

“All different instruments and voices give recitals,” Diddle said. 

Several recitals will be held next semester, usually in Peterson Recital Hall which is located inside Lincoln Hall. 

Cordie and Diddle both said that students should attend a recital because it will be an amazing new experience. 

Diddle said that recitals offer a unique experience that you cannot get when you turn on the TV. 

“A lot of young people see television shows like The Voice where they use a microphone and they think that is how everyone sings,” Dr. Diddle said. “It’s not every day that you will hear someone sing without a microphone.” 

Cordie said there is no greater feeling than the feeling of exhilaration when listening to the crowd’s applause and bowing after all of a students hard work comes out in a performance. 

“It’s probably the greatest feeling I’ve had,” Cordie said. “There’s nothing that beats a great performance that you just nailed. It’s just so enthralling.”