​​​Cynthia Schultz
Piano and Harp Lessons &
Notes to Grow On! Preschool Music Classes

"Thank you so much for your time and dedication this year in teaching Bea & Ian piano. Your expert guidance has gotten them started with a lifelong passion for playing, listening and learning. Our whole family appreciates all that you do!"

 Recitals are a great opportunity for your child to really get to know a piece of their choosing, and work     towards making it performance ready. They learn about setting goals, managing their time and all aspects of   performance; like stage etiquette and controlling their nerves. Your child also knows you value their music   when you make time to encourage their practice and attend the performance!

The overall benefit of piano studies is not even about music itself.

It is the peripheral skills acquired in the course of mastering the instrument:

  • staying calm and focused under pressure
  • evaluating one's weaknesses and working at it being better
  • persisting in the face of challenges
  • working whether one feels like doing something or not
  • breaking jobs into little pieces to reach goals
  • providing an outlet for creativity

Your children may not turn out to be concert pianists, but they may become doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, engineers, writers, teachers... because they have been provided immeasurable opportunities to develop essential life skills.  

Joy Campbell

Cynthia Schultz​
​Piano ~ Harp ~ Preschool Music Classes
P.O. Box 2241, Benicia, CA 94510


Five Ways to Turn Performance Anxiety Into Performance Excitement

​For most performers, “stage fright”, “nerves” or “performance anxiety” is the thing we dread most about going onstage. Trying not to feel nervous is impossible—it’s like trying not to feel tired when you’ve only gotten an hour of sleep, or trying not to feel hungry when you haven’t had a meal all day. Instead, the goal is to turn that nervous energy into a resource that works to your advantage. For high-caliber athletes, this is called a “Peak State.” So how is this to be done?

  • Be as prepared as you can - Preparation is essential. Make sure you know the piece you are performing as well as you possibly can. Set realistic goals. Have a deadline for learning all the notes and rhythms, the style, the phrasing, etc. That should be at least two to three weeks before the performance, no later. Know if you’ll be using a music stand or not, standing or sitting while performing. Be clear if you are performing from memory or not.

  • Practice Performing - Most people take for granted that whatever they practice will hold up on stage, but they don’t actually practice performing! Know the performing space you will be performing in. Is it a hall, a church or a living room? Get a sense of the size and space of the venue. I recommend knowing in advance what you will be wearing, so you know how the clothing feels. (Women, be aware that wearing high heels changes your posture.) The week before the performance, practice performing. Really use your imagination: Imagine the hall and the stage you will be performing on. See the audience – your teacher, friends, family, or make it up as you go. Each day before the concert, do a mock performance even if just for one person. Practice your stage presence, walking on and offstage, bowing, performing straight through with stopping, talking, etc. If you make a mistake just keep going!

  • Expect to get nervous!I suggest you re-frame your mindset from feeling nervous into feeling EXCITED! Feeling excitement means that you care about your performance and that you are invested in the outcome. The trick is how you use the energy you are now calling excitement. Practice getting nervous in your mock performances. Know your style: do you get the shakes or do you get cold? Dry or sweaty hands? Do you feel faint or nauseous?

  • Be aware of your body - Especially if your tendency is to get into your head and think scary thoughts, feel your feet on the floor. Breathe in your nose and out your mouth. Physically connect to your instrument.

  • Set a realistic outcome- Expect to make mistakes. Mistakes happen; it’s how you recover from a mistake that is essential. The goal is to do the best you possibly can. This does not mean sounding exactly like the CD you’ve been listening to, but doing the best you are able to at this time. Remember why you love what you’re doing and have fun!

                        By Dana Fonteneau 

Recital tips and etiquette:

Think of your recital as a way to show off all the hard work you've put into practicing and perfecting your songs so far! After all that hard practicing, you deserve to play your songs for an audience!

  • If you get nervous, remember that almost everyone gets nervous. It's natural. Those butterflies in your stomach will put an exciting edge on your performance. 
  • If you mess up, keep going and don't stop. Most likely, the audience will have no idea if you hit a wrong note or hold a whole note too long. If you keep going after you mess up, you can "fool" the audience into thinking you've given a note-perfect performance! They'll never know! 
  • When you memorize a song, play memory games to make sure you know the song extremely well without the music. If you can't complete the memory games, you don't know the piece that well
  • Remember to bow. Bowing when the audience claps after you play is a polite way of thanking them for listening
  • Please plan to stay for the entire recital - it is rude to leave in the middle
  • Please be courteous to other performers by listening attentively and clapping after the performance
  • Please dress in nice clothing


"Music performance teaches young people to conquer fear and take risks.  A little anxiety is a good thing and something that will occur often in life. Dealing with it early and often makes it less of a problem later. Risk-taking is essential if a child is to fully develop his or her potential" From Classics for Kids - The Benefits of Music Education