The Recital Liberated: Where Art Ends And Life Begins

Open Access
Russo, Jacob Matthew
Area of Honors:
Music Education
Bachelor of Music Education
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Linda Carol Porter Thornton, Thesis Supervisor
  • Linda Carol Porter Thornton, Honors Advisor
  • Ann Callistro Clements, Faculty Reader
  • music
  • music education
  • recital
  • art
  • life
  • television
  • poetry
  • interactive
  • communication
The Recital Liberated was a series of three artistic events formatted as classes, or workshop-like sessions, in which attendees and I collectively examined an aspect of the human spirit as it manifested in a number of artworks of my choosing, across various mediums and genres. Unlike conventional recitals, this event did not consist of me imposing a selection of art upon a silent and captive audience. Rather, I sought to engage those in attendance in an active exploration of the very meaning of art, and the way in which each of our individual lives and experiences could inform infinite unique interpretations of a singular artwork. This concept began as a reaction against the traditional Western Classical “art-music” recital format, but has since become a complete departure from it. I replaced formulaic with organic, elitism with individualism, “concert black” with a t-shirt and jeans. And by returning to the core of what I believe art to be—communication, a true dialogue among equals, rather than a lecture from “artist” to “audience”—I created an event that can help us remember that art and its creation are not merely extracurricular pastimes, but are indeed truly practical endeavors. This document will detail The Recital Liberated through its conception, development, and realization; summarize attendee feedback to the three sessions as a whole; explain applications of this concept to education in a secondary general music setting; include materials I created and used for each session (such as programs, posters, worksheets, and lesson plans); as well as contain a full video recording of one of the sessions.