John, thank you for your reply.
My focus and comment was on this very last sentence.
It is the usual misunderstanding.
I wrote in the context of the idea of kicking out a student solely on the basis of not attending those particular formal recitals.
I believe that if used properly, recitals can be a very important foundation element in student's learning and progress at the piano. I encourage teachers to explore this and use it accordingly.
I can see what you are saying, in everything that you have written.
Once a year, you will have a chance to express yourself in front of a crowd whom you do not know; in your 3 minutes, everything must be perfect - no mistakes are acceptable. Talk about fear inducing environments.
Yup! Well, even if the "no mistakes are acceptable" is absent, if you do something only once a year, first off you are in a strange situation. You don't learn to get used to it so the situation itself will cause mistakes even for the most careful and well-prepared student. And it becomes so ultra-important that if you slip up, it will haunt you for an entire year - thus setting up even greater anxiety.
I remember that you offer your students frequent opportunities to play. Thus it becomes a normal and familiar experience.
Unfortunately, too many teachers do not use recitals as learning venues for their students, but rather as a show case. Sad.
Or a means of self-promotion. If the goal is wrong, the teaching will be wrong. I think that is the kind of thing that leads to limiting lessons to very few pieces so that the students' playing as a group will be as perfect as possible, etc.
Rather, I was and am referring to the intense focus which a student is capable of and which occurs when playing in front of others. That which was dismissed or "I'll correct it next time" suddenly is now of great import.
I had not thought of an "I'll correct it next time" attitude. I guess you're saying that a student who won't be bothered to correct his work will have a particular motivation for doing so. Gotcha.
My thoughts on recitals is that they should never be the main goal of lessons. The lessons should be for getting the skills. Those skills don't just include technique or understanding music as the twins for good interpretation / sounding good. You also have to have an approach of practising, working at home. If these things become the focus, then the recital itself should come off much better I would think.