In today’s video, we’re going to look at why you should perform in an online recital, and all the ins and outs of Piano World’s quarterly online recital.
What is the recital?
What is the PianoWorld recital?
It’s an online recital hosted over on the PianoWorld forums, in the Adult Beginner thread. You don’t need to be a beginner to participate, however – all ages and skill levels are welcome.
This recital in particular is special, since it’s their 50th one. Every quarter, PianoWorld hosts a recital, which means this tradition has been going on for twelve and a half years!
In that time, over 500 performers have shared their music, and the average number of performers per recital is 46. It’s the only online piano recital that I know of, and it’s a great community.
Who can participate?
Who is able to participate in the recital?
Anyone. Seriously. They make it clear in their FAQ and information pages that all piano players are welcome. Even if you’re in the first few pages of a beginner method book, you’re welcome to share a piece.
Skill level is all over the map in these recitals, so there’s no need to feel insecure about your level. These recitals aren’t about being the best – they’re about participating in a community, getting to know other piano players across the globe, and having accountability for your learning.
Besides, as someone who’s been playing piano for many years, I have a lot of fun hearing beginner pieces. There’s no judgement. I’ve been teaching beginners for over a decade, and I never tire of hearing those early pieces – we all start there, and it’s an exciting part of anyone’s piano journey!
So anyone can join – all you need is a piano or keyboard, and some way to get an mp3 recording of your piece (more on that later).
What if I just started piano?
No seriously, anyone can participate, even you, the absolute beginner. So you started a month ago – great! Let’s hear that rendition of Money Can’t Buy Everything from the Alfred book! Give us your best Yankee Doodle! Seriously, it’s all good, and it’s all fun.
When is the recital?
When is the PianoWorld recital held?
One nice thing about these recitals is that they AREN’T live. You submit your recordings in advance, and a couple weeks later they’re made available for everyone to hear at their own leisure.
This particular recital goes live on May 15th, 2018, and the submission form opens up on May 1st.
PianoWorld hosts recitals every quarter at the same time. Recitals are held in February, May, August and November. The submission form always opens on the first of the month, and the recital always goes “live” on the fifteenth.
How does the PianoWorld recital work?
Okay, so that’s all well and good – but how exactly does the PianoWorld recital work?
It’s really easy. All you do is visit recitals.pianoworld.com on the first of the month or later and upload your mp3 recording and details about the recording (like what your name is, what piece you’re playing, any other details).
Once the 15th rolls around, there will be a playlist of all submissions made available to everyone. There will be an official PianoWorld forum post with all of the submission details for each piece on the playlist. And finally, there is an accompanying discussion forum to give feedback and support.
The pieces are added to the playlist in the order they’re received, so if you’d like to be at the top of the list, be sure to submit your recording as close to the first as possible!
You’re not limited in style, either. The only rule for submission content is that it be piano-centric – you could play Classical, jazz, pop, whatever you want. You can even sing and play piano, or submit a recording with multiple instruments, as long as piano is the main focus.
In addition to the quarterly recitals, there are also the occasional themed recitals. These recitals are usually based around a genre or era (like Baroque music) or a composer (like Chopin). The themed recitals don’t have a regular schedule, however, so be sure to check the forums to see when they pop up.
Why bother participating?
So what’s the point in participating in this recital?
The biggest reason, in my opinion, is for the sense of community and camaraderie it provides. Piano is a pretty solitary instrument, and most of us practice alone in the corner of a room somewhere, seldom if ever sharing our music with others.
This recital provides us loners an opportunity to come together and share our experiences with this wonderful instrument. It gives us the chance to encourage and support one another, and allows us to give and receive constructive feedback.
Adult students seldom have opportunities to perform the way children do. If you’re lucky enough to live in a community with regular live adult recitals, that’s awesome! But this online community helps fill the gap for those of us who don’t have that opportunity.
Finally, one benefit of this recital is that it isn’t live, so you don’t have to worry about performance anxiety. You can do a hundred takes of your piece before submitting a recording if you want.
How do I join?
I hope all of this has gotten you excited to share your music and join an awesome community of people learning piano! If you’d like to join, visit the main submission page at http://recitals.pianoworld.com. Please note that you’re only to submit one recording per person.
How do I record my piece?
As far as recording your piece goes, you have a few options, and it depends what your piano situation is.
Acoustic pianos really benefit from recording with a compression microphone, but most people don’t have those laying around.
Keyboard players can record via direct line-in as a midi file if you have the right cords. I’m not an expert on recording, however, so do visit the link on the website with more details on recording.
Phones and laptops don’t provide the best sound, but you can fiddle with where you position them so that they aren’t distorted.
I personally use a compression mic (a Yeti) which plugs right into my laptop’s USB, and the free program Audacity to record and etc. This is a decent setup – by no means ideal, but it gets the job done.
The maximum upload size is 20mb for an mp3 at 192 kbs, which is generally a 7-9 minute piece.
I’ve got some resources over on the blog that you van check out if you’d like to join. There are also some videos on this channel that you might find helpful, including:
Link to stream of all recordings, comments thread and submission thread
I really hope you’ll join us for this recital! Use it as a push for some extra practice this spring, and I’ll see you over on PianoWorld.