Are student recitals a good thing?

I have been reading "The Piano Shop on the Left Bank," where amateur-piano-lover Thad Carhart writes about finding the perfect piano, and his experience learning how to play growing up.

The following passage surprised me because it challenged what I always thought to be a necessity: the student recital.

"Recitals seem to me to be based on an enormous confidence game that sets up every prospective pianist to be the next Horowitz.

Only a handful of soloists will, of course, rise to the top and make careers out of their music, but the conceit is that any talented youngster might have this capacity, this dubious and rare gift.

And so there has developed over many years a system for subjecting thousands upon thousands of young musicians to the ordeal of playing repeatedly in public to see if they have the peculiar sort f talent that flourishes in front of others."

There has got to be an easier way to go about this! One that wouldn't alienate young students, our future audience.

Photo from http://amyromero.wordpress.com/tag/childrens-photography/

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