Recital Information and Guidelines

Hamilton Piano Studio is committed to all aspects of classical performance education including the specific mindset, skills, and etiquette needed when performing in a concert. These include:

  • How to handle the fear that is often associated with public performance.
  • How to gracefully handle mistakes.
  • Concert appearance and attire.
  • Expectations of a performing musician. (When to arrive, how to take the stage, when and how to bow, how to begin and end pieces in a professional manner, etc.)
  • Expected behavior as members of the audience. (Do you clap between movements of a Sonata? When is it ok to talk or leave the room?)
  • How to graciously accept a compliment after a performance.
  1. Participation in Recitals is encouraged but not required.
  2. Attendance of an entire Performance Workshop is a prerequisite for performing in the Recital.
  3. Recital Attire: The universal norm for recital attire is “well-dressed.” Nice pants and dress shirt; a skirt or dress (at least knee-length), and dress shoes. Jeans and tee shirts are not acceptable due to their informal appearance.
  4. For students who participate: There are no regularly scheduled lessons the week of the Performance Workshop nor the week after the Recital.  These events are a valuable part of classical performance training and will be the instruction during these weeks.

Note: For students who are interested in performing in the Recital, the Performance Workshop gives the teacher and student one last opportunity to determine if the student is musically and emotionally ready to perform.  It is one of our greatest and most sincere desires that each performance be a positive experience for the student and a step forward in musical growth. For these reasons, there are occasions when postponing a performance is in the best interest of the student. Students and parents gain confidence when they know that they can trust their teacher to be honest and forthright about their performance readiness.


Tips for choosing recital attire
Remember that when dressing for a piano recital, you’re dressing to perform. As pianist Frances Wilson perfectly stated, “We need clothes which allow freedom of movement, which do not distract us when we play (there is nothing worse than a tickly label or zip), which look good when we stand to take a bow and when we are seated at the piano.” Our bodies move as we perform and our clothing should cooperate easily with these movements.
In order to avoid a wardrobe mishap, we highly recommend that you practice in your recital clothes (including shoes and jewelry) at least once before the performance. Avoid loose fitting/noisy jewelry, high heels (they’re difficult to bow in and make piano pedaling a nightmare), and consider wearing long hair pulled back so that it doesn’t obstruct vision. You want to feel at ease with your attire and able to focus on your art. 

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