I’ve been offering recitals for my students for more than 30 years now, and have a routine down that parents seem to appreciate. I’ll share a few things that I do along with a few additional ideas that might make things fun.
Getting Started Early
Getting started early enough is always a big goal for me. I start asking students what they might like to play in early October. By late October, everyone has started practicing. This early start means less stress for me, and a good challenge for them.
If students are practicing in Level 3 books, I try to encourage them to pick pieces that are from Level 4 or 5 for their recital. Most students rise to the challenge, and give nearly perfect performances. I also allow each student to perform 2 pieces. If the pieces aren’t too long, recitals will take about 45 minutes. Parents seem to appreciate this considerably.
In my early days I asked parents to host recitals. In the last 10-15 years, I’ve been scheduling more recitals in senior care facilities. Parents are happy and the students get to be a blessing to older folks that don’t get to go out much.
I’ve always asked my beginning students to perform first and work my way toward the most advanced. It provides a bit of a build throughout the program. One of my precious students began as the very first one on the recital at age six. He then practiced hard to be the student to close the recital on multiple occasions.
My students are always interested in the cookies and hot chocolate that follow each recital. It also provides an opportunity for pictures. This year I’m even letting two students showcase their art during the reception.
1) Movie Music and Trivia – Host a recital where everyone plays movie music. Ask trivia questions as students prepare to play.
2) Hold Recitals in Student’s Home – Each family gets to choose the recital location, who they invite and snacks. The student works on perfecting pieces they have worked on throughout the year. The teacher/blogger reports that every family told her that this was by far their favorite recital format.
3) Composer Trivia – Have students perform their pieces and then ask parents to guess the composer from a list of composers. It’s a great way to fill the transition time.
4) Around the World – Ask students to perform selection by composers from around the world. Before they perform they introduce their song and provide a little information about it. The reception is themed too. Students bring a special treat from their composers country.
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