10 Recital Mishaps And How to Avoid Them

Our Winter Recital is just around the corner and our students are busy practicing for the big day. During a recital, you can run into some mishaps that you didn’t quite prepare for. We have compiled a list of the 10 most common recital mishaps, along with tips on how to avoid them:

  1. You Made a Mistake While Performing: This is the most common recital mishap. When you get nervous, mistakes can happen. If you happen to make a mistake while performing, JUST KEEP GOING. Chances are, the audience will not even realize you made a mistake.
  2. Your Microphone is Not On: This is something that can totally throw you off at a performance. In order to avoid this, make sure that the microphone’s “on/off” button is switched “on” before you start singing. However, sometimes the sound engineer will forget to turn on the sound, even if your microphone says it is on. If this happens, it is totally okay to start your performance over again. Do not try to sing at the top of your lungs to be heard. Kindly motion to the sound engineers, or your accompanist that your mic is not on and that you need to start over.
  3. Your Track Started Before You Were Ready: Rushing to start your performance can cause unnecessary anxiety. If your track starts playing before you are ready, let the sound engineers know that you would like to start over.
  4. Your Instrument is Not Tuned: Being prepared is one of the best ways to avoid mishaps at a recital. Part of being prepared is making sure you get to the recital early so that your teacher can tune your instrument. However, if your instrument goes out of tune in the middle of your performance, stop playing and tune it. You can then start the piece over again so that it sounds correct.
  5. Your Music Stand Falls Down: If the stand starts to shrink down while you’re playing, pause to set it back to the correct height and then continue to play. If you let it fall, you will no longer be able to see your music and it could cause you to make a mistake.
  6. You Forgot Your Lyrics: Practicing and being prepared is the best way to avoid this mishap. However, when the nerves kick in, you could forget some lyrics. If this happens, re-sing a verse you know until you remember your lyrics. Chances are, no one will realize you sang the same verse twice!
  7. Your Boom Stand is Too High/Low: At the recital, a stage assistant will place the boom-stand on the stage for your performance. However, they might not have it at the correct height for you. Before they leave the stage, kindly ask them to raise/lower it. SIDE NOTE: Please wait for the stage assistant to leave the stage before you begin playing!
  8. Your Music Falls Off The Stand: If the recital hall has the air/heat on, it is possible that your music can blow off the stand. To avoid this, do not bring loose music to the recital. It is best to keep your music in a black binder. Also, you may want to bring a few binder clips so that you can clip your music to the stand.
  9. The Piano Bench is Too Far/Close to the Piano: When you sit at the piano bench, make sure that you are a comfortable distance away from the keys. Double check that you can reach the pedal’s before you begin playing. If you need to adjust the bench, move it to a comfortable position before you start. 
  10. You Forgot Your Music: Please know that your teachers will NOT have extra copies of your music at the recital. The best way to avoid this mishap is to make sure you have everything you need before you leave the house. I usually have my students make a checklist of everything they need to bring and have them look at it before they leave.

Good Luck! 


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