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#1171836 - 03/31/09 04:36 AM Piano Recitals bore me
Nannerl Mozart Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 732
Loc: Australia, Melbourne
I would be interested to know how you teachers deal with piano recitals. I frequently do solo recitals or duo-recitals. I recently did a duo-recital and was so boring to me even as a performer, I felt that the crowd atmosphere seemed to be not understanding of the classical genre and the quality of emceeing was apauling.

I have been to some competitions where the atmopshere is tense more than 'fun' it is awkard, parents come for the sake of their children and it doesn't make it easier for the audience or the performer.

The best way to get people listening (and this applied to all genres in my opinion) is in the emceeing as it gets the crowd going, I have thrown jokes, some absurd, some witty, some lame and some just outright stupid. Other times I would have certain people in the audience to rate me jokingly and I would soak it all up as a Diva even of a person would say 1/10 (they say it kiddingly).

Any input? I feel passionate about this topic.
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#1171847 - 03/31/09 05:15 AM Re: Piano Recitals bore me [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Unless you're the organizer yes, they're boring. I have teachers invite me to their recitals. Why would you want to go hear some can do performance when, in London anyway, the finest are on show?
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snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
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#1171857 - 03/31/09 06:13 AM Re: Piano Recitals bore me [Re: keyboardklutz]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2893
Loc: UK.
I find the key is not to make them too long. I used to do large scale recitals for all my students (as well as my wifes) and they did go on a bit. Now we offer smaller recitals but more often. It's fine to have maybe 10 or 12 kids perform a few short pieces in under an hour. Parents prefer this as well because, let's face it, they are interested in hearing their own child play. You need to get the programme right as well. Mix the styles up a bit. Too many similar items do get boring.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#1171878 - 03/31/09 07:24 AM Re: Piano Recitals bore me [Re: Chris H.]
Nannerl Mozart Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 732
Loc: Australia, Melbourne
Is it usual for parents to mingle with each other? Sometimes I think that if the occassion is more casual (even though classical is raelly intended to be formal) there would be a difference. KBK is right, I thought I was being a 'rebel' for stating my annoyances with these recitals. I think that Emceeing is a great thing, if the Emcee has chrisma and can converse it would make a big difference and a great impact on the parents and students. I also think ... its not wrong to pull off a Victor Borge at the end of the show, I did that a few times when I make mistakes especially and when they are fairly obvious, I will repeat them or claer my throat if I am singing and make it seem like a 'diva in the spotlight moment'. But you are right, a varied program is the key and a short one too.

Another thing, I think if teachers did unite and congregate with other music teachers of other instruments it would be dynamic and exciting. Imagine that a violin student accompanied by a piano student, a chamber ensemble, perhaps I am a little bit too idealistic but what do teachers say?
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#1171899 - 03/31/09 08:11 AM Re: Piano Recitals bore me [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13779
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I'm assuming we're talking about student recitals - if that's the case, then I try to do the following:

1) Have a theme. I don't do anything wild or silly, I just try to have some kind of unifying idea for the recital. Something geographic, like a recital of All-American music or a travelogue across the world. We also do holiday themed recitals for Halloween and Christmas, and one of our recitals is a contest warm-up. (I do 3-5 recitals a year with my students.)

2) Have a reception. There has to be mingling and food. Part of student recitals is getting to know people - both on stage and off.

3) Make it short. 60 minutes, including opening and closing remarks, and keep things moving. Student recitals are like radio in this way. Dead air means losing the audience. More than 30 seconds between performers and the yawns begin.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
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#1171912 - 03/31/09 08:48 AM Re: Piano Recitals bore me [Re: Kreisler]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11657
Loc: Canada
We did indeed have the mingling-with-food aspect. Overwhelmingly parents would tell of the weeks before, the butterflies, and "wow, she made it in front of all those people" while the child sat tall with glowing eyes. Other parents nodded, and could relate. The main concern was that the student had been safe while taking the risk, and had emerged unscathed on the other side.

There is a hidden drama in student recitals which makes them as exciting as when you watch a baby take its first steps - though watching someone walk is normally a boring thing. The audience consists primarily of family members and friends. They relate to all students because of the one student they know. Collectively the whole audience holds its breath for each performer - it's like a group-embrace. We all know that the person out there is learning to do something unfamiliar. As parent perhaps one is sensitive to that. As both parent and student one experiences what is happening out there on even more levels. With the newer ones, you can relive what you had once done, and the advanced one, where you might be one day.

The most gratifying thing for me as a student is when a woman came up to me and said, "When you play the second time, I intend to close my eyes."

Rebekah, we did indeed have a mix of two instruments. Two teachers combined for the recitals. To make them short enough, the were broken into two sets with the refreshment in between like an interlude while one set left and the other came. Some people stayed for both sets, and occasionally there was a special entertainment performance that went into both sets of recitals.

Some of us also stayed behind to help with washing up and packing away of leftovers. We got to know parents and fellow students that way. My memory of recitals is rather positive.

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#1171933 - 03/31/09 09:30 AM Re: Piano Recitals bore me [Re: keystring]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
I am assuming too, that you are commenting about teacher hosted student recitals - beginners on up.

If recitals bore you, what are the options?

1) No recitals at all. (Out of the question!)

2) Give the recital even though you might not be able to predict the enjoyment level in advance. (Give up control. This represents progress to date. No one is off the hook just because they are not as prepared as you would like.)

3) Give the recital even though you know there will be rocky moments. (Don't react, don't judge, let them experience the consequences.

4) Groom and insist on good work, pressure, accuracy, sparkling students. Only the best!

There is lots in the archives here about piano recitals in the teachers forum. You'll be reading all day and night it you read it all. (Search).

You have a sense of humor, you're adaptive by the stories you've told, that should play a small role in your emcee-ing. Plan ahead so that you don't interject too much. Let the audience find their enjoyment and opinions. Think positive!

Speak highly of your students, you will create the possibility for them to believe in themselves. Encourage, encourage, encourage them.

Take videos - they tell the truth of what really happened that day at that time with each students. Be nonintrusive with the camera. You won't have to say much when the student sees the video for the first time. It's the second viewing that will allow you both to communicate what you want to say to them, and find out what their "take" on their role in the program means to them.

I've used balloons, flowers, table linen on round tables with 8 seats for refreshment (not always, but sometimes).

You can build recitals to be the best! They don't just happen that way!

Boring is a state of mind.
Don't let it happen to you and your students!

A recital's possibility is in the music you chose to teach this quarter/semester. Does it overall add up to a musical content showing the student's best work along with his or her enjoyment of the piece? Or, does the music show dullness and boredom or incompleteness with finishing the task? Choose appropriate and better music for lesson content and you've got a good start for a successful program.

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#1171954 - 03/31/09 10:07 AM Re: Piano Recitals bore me [Re: Betty Patnude]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7348
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
I try to give my students as many performance opportunities as possible throughout the year. As a result, a group of teachers, part of our association, put on 3 themed recitals through the year. These run 40 - 45 min ea, usually 3 a weekend.

Additionally, I put on a student recital for my own students. I particularly like Kreisler's advice here. There needs to be a social time following the performing.

Finally, I encourage (and generally get a few takers each year) students to put on "House Recitals" of their own. This is when they play a recital for their friends and family preferably in their own home. They are encouraged to make a party of it, have printed programs, and present 20 or so of their short pieces, logically grouped together in thematic clusters.

I personally have seldom enjoyed MCs at recitals or concerts. Generally, I wish they'd just shut up and let's get on with the music, but not everyone feels this way. But my advice to those of you who like to ramble on as MC is remember, there are those in your audience who feel as I do, and just can't wait for you to get off the stage and let the kids perform!
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1172014 - 03/31/09 11:46 AM Re: Piano Recitals bore me [Re: John v.d.Brook]
SantaFe_Player Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/31/08
Posts: 607
I never find piano recitals boring. I'm always interested to see the technical progress of the students as well as their improvement in musicality, and I enjoy recitals with sufficiently advanced students that I am able to hear pleasurable repertoire (as opposed to pieces from "method" books). I think an "emcee" is completely unnecessary and a waste of the audience's time - I don't want to hear jokes and babble, I want to hear piano.
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SantaFe_Player

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#1172054 - 03/31/09 01:14 PM Piano Recitals [color:#006600][i][b]NEVER[ bore me [Re: SantaFe_Player]
JWAbacus Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/22/09
Posts: 19
There are two sides of student piano recitals and I've been on both sides.

For the first part, as a performer, they're essential for all of the obvious reasons: exposure to performance pressure - which you can actually control if given enough practice; also they serve as an outlet to show others what you've been working on for so long. And I really like hearing the incredible performances of my fellow peers.

My teacher has regular performance classes once a month with perhaps five or six students at a time - and at similar levels - to develop skills in performing in front of each other. I find them invaluable. We are taught everything from a proper entrance and exit, bowing to the audience, announcing what we're performing (there's no MC), recovering from errors - that kind of thing. She also has a large student recital at the end of the year where all of her students gather in one place. This tends to be a long night as most of the pieces played are substantial ones - Sonatas, Concertos and the like. And she always has a feast of (home prepared) food at the end! Wow - it's a fun night! And the student group works very hard to make it a successful night by being properly prepared!

Recently, I've attended other teacher's recitals out of interest. I've found a disturbing practice there, though. Too often parents (I guess) leave as soon as their child has performed! I think this is very ill-mannered and certainly doesn't happen with my teacher. I know that there are a lot of beginner pianists at these recitals (some are my friends too, which is one of the reasons that I go); however, I still find this 'listen to the kid and then bolt' philosophy in very bad taste.

So - no - I don't find them boring at all. Recall that I'm still quite young and so, perhaps, I have more patience than an older person.
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http://www.youtube.com/user/jwabacus

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#1172104 - 03/31/09 03:01 PM Re: Piano Recitals [color:#006600][i][b]NEVER[ bore me [Re: JWAbacus]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7348
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
You mentioned about parents leaving when their child has performed. It is extremely rude, but happening more and more. One way for teachers to get around this is not to have the children go sit with family following performance, but with other students in the front. This also expedites handing out certificates, awards, etc.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1172121 - 03/31/09 03:29 PM Re: Piano Recitals [color:#006600][i][b]NEVER[ bore me [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
In my studio, the rule is: if you are performing, you must agree to come and stay thru the entire event including refreshments and socialization. No one boogies out after their play. The idea is that we are all a supportive unit within the studio so that we can encourage and support all students. The recital is a learning experience and I expect students and families there from beginning to end. I also sometimes expect those who are not playing to come and learn from being a member of the audience aspect.

You don't just dip in and dip out again with me.

The other annoying thing is that parents ask if their child can play first or last because they have another engagement. Make a choice then. I hate having names on the program and then they aren't there for the program because something came up. Right!

No one does these things to me anymore. They used to, but I'm rather convincing and hold to my rules. Since when were recitals optional?

Betty Patnude

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#1172177 - 03/31/09 05:22 PM Re: Piano Recitals [color:#006600][i][b]NEVER[ bore me [Re: Betty Patnude]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7348
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Yes!
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1172217 - 03/31/09 06:22 PM Re: Piano Recitals [color:#006600][i][b]NEVER[ bore me [Re: JWAbacus]
musiclady Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/19/05
Posts: 431
Loc: Toronto, Canada
As I teach more than one instrument, I mix up the students in instrument and level. I feel especially for my piano students it is important to encourage them to think orchestrally (since my husband and I play chamber and orchestra music), and building a sound concept for learning another instrument when some of those piano students are older (and one soon-to-be 9 year piano student (he has been with me since he was 5) has asked to try clarinet, though he has a great ear (can read well too) and I was encouraging him to learn a brass instrument, since for brass and strings it's important to have a good ear. I also combine my student concerts with my husband, and the last 3 or 4, where we've had studnts at the Royal Conservatory of Music Grade 8 and above (both instruments), we've put on quite a show.

My studnt concerts are about an hour long after you factor everything but the refreshments, about 40 minutes of playing (ensembles and solos), handing out of the participation certificates, and door prizes.

Meri


Edited by musiclady (03/31/09 06:24 PM)
Edit Reason: add
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Clarinet and Piano Teacher based out of Toronto, Canada.Web: http://donmillsmusicstudio.weebly.com

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#1172541 - 04/01/09 10:33 AM Re: Piano Recitals [color:#006600][i][b]NEVER[ bore me [Re: musiclady]
galex Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/15/08
Posts: 173
Loc: on the run
I guess eventually almost everything bores people. It's like doctors: the first appendectomy is definitely heart throbbing but the 100th is just boring. Always the same, stuff, you fell you can do it in your sleep. Same goes for driver's license, the first time you are alone on the road is thrilling, after that it usually will get boring. I guess it applies for recitals.
_________________________
By the rivers of alcohol..

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#1172649 - 04/01/09 02:18 PM Re: Piano Recitals [color:#006600][i][b]NEVER[ bore me [Re: galex]
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4977
Loc: boston north
Ah yes,....

Certificates and Door Prizes! That'll get them to stay!!!

I forgot about those. Students love certificates.

What do you give certificates for?

Does anyone have a guest performer?
_________________________
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

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#1172820 - 04/01/09 06:06 PM Re: Piano Recitals [color:#006600][i][b]NEVER[ bore me [Re: JWAbacus]
Surendipity Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 129
Recitals are very important:

They allow the parents to take part in their childrens lives and goals.
They also are an excellent venue in promoting your teaching vocation.
It also gives the teacher the opportunity to play for their audience. Which also makes certain you practice what you preach.

I have treat bags for the children and a door prize for the parents.
I also have a quick Music History Quiz at the end of the recital for even more prizes. (thank goodness for Dollar Stores)

History is always an important part of any study and the children love it.

It's always pot luck but parents are to prepare their best recipe. Proud parents this way get to show off their home made cooking and share recipes. This makes for alot of eating and talking. My recitals have never been under 2 hours long and not less than 70 persons, 130 being the most.

Last year I brought in 150 cupcakes and white frosting with tubes upon tubes of food colouring and icing paint and a selection of sprinkles and the children decorated their own cupcakes, it was a mess, but what a riot. Parents took pictures of their creations and some have been framed and placed on walls, pianos and fridges.

Students also have the opportunity at all recitals to preform anything else they wish. Dance, Singing,Stand Up Comedy.
The audience eats this stuff up. So fun! Don't ask about our own 8 year old impersonator. We were all crying from the laughter, she was excellent.

Also don't forget that your position is to teach, so don't let recitals stop you. Along with the program, I have always put in an intersting page about music. Last year it was the Guidonian hand, before that a table of Composers birth dates to see if anyone had the same day. I still find these hanging around piano benches, again promotional and everyone loves to see their names on a program, a keep sake, so make them pretty.

The worse thing you can do is not have one.
The second worse is not asking parents for help before and after your recital. Pass out programs, set table cloths, set up the micro phone. When everyone is busy doing something, there is more static in the air and the room starts to fill with excitement. One huge Town Hall had it's chairs all stacked up, their were 95 people coming and the men went to work in good faith, the noise from those chairs made such a racket that people started talking over the din. Then the kitchen tables in the other corner were being set up by the women. Than the children were running around making great thumping sounds. What an audio overload, but it was perfect. Best concert we had. I played Bach Prelude and Fugue in C- and during it a parade was coming down the street and oh what great accompaniment!
Problems work in your favor, the more chaos the better the recital the better the attention.

Always teach each student to bow and fix their bench and have their music ready or memorized.

Nervous or scared? No problem, all my students have the option to bow out at the last second. It's happened a couple of times, no problem. And that's in oh how many 20 recitals in 12 years.
One who bowed out went and played while we were all eating, and actually had to be pulled away to go home. See, all in good time.

Also look for different venues if you can. We had the opportunity at an amazingly low rate to play in a Town Hall on a 9 foot Steinway. What a treat. What a day, fun fun, loved it.

Pictures and video, invite it. Bask in it, have other pictures from other recitals on a big board for people to admire.

Lighting and Microphone, have a spot light if possible.

Dates for recitals, email or hand out forms with 3 dates for the best recital time for parents schedules. Life is busy, make sure you have the most students availalble for your date. Then make arragements.

Formal recital.. Always, formal, dress code matches 007.
The more they prepare for the event, the more they will know how important their acheivements suddenly come to fruition. Besides they love it and pictures look fantastic.

My idea this year is Oscar night, with taped interviews and the back screen full of someones logo, who will give me treats for promoting them. Then their will be Oscar trophies and winning speaches. Yes we'll all be famous stars that night. Just need to find the right venue. Mmmm..

If your don't know what to do, and this works, I've done it.
Ask the children and the parents what would be cool, inventive or add knowledge. I still use their ideas. We all do better if we share.

Good Luck and enjoy it all. As my sister always asks me.
What's the firecracker up your A$$ today Miss Laura?

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#1172854 - 04/01/09 07:31 PM Re: Piano Recitals [color:#006600][i][b]NEVER[ bore me [Re: Surendipity]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5921
Loc: Down Under
Fabulous, Surendipity!

Only now I'm exhausted, and I only read about it! laugh
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Du holde Kunst...

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#1172970 - 04/01/09 11:18 PM Re: Piano Recitals [color:#006600][i][b]NEVER[ bore me [Re: currawong]
NancyM333 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/06
Posts: 1547
Loc: Roswell, Georgia
Our teacher has an awards ceremony and snacks (brought by parents) with recitals before and after that feature different students. So there would be a recital from 10-10:45, awards and snacks from 10:45-11:30, then a recital from 11:30-12:15. She lets anyone who has a preference choose which recital they need to accomodate their schedule, then she fills in with the kids that don't have a conflict. It seems to keep people from leaving early to go elsewhere.

Nancy
_________________________

Estonia 168, Yamaha UX3

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#1172971 - 04/01/09 11:23 PM Re: Piano Recitals [color:#006600][i][b]NEVER[ bore me [Re: NancyM333]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11764
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I pass out any awards students may have earned going to State WMTA, and I also participate in the MTNA Music Study Awards and for those who are on the off years (the music study awards students for every 2 years of study) then they get a participation certificate. I pass them out at the end of the program. Since I do collaborative stuff, my recitals aren't as long since students are doubling or tripling up on a piece. I always ask parents to bring a treat, and I provide the punch. Most of them hang around for a bit to chat with one another. The kids know one another from group lessons and of course practicing with each other for the recital, so most of them don't duck out. In fact, I don't recall the last time a family left once their child finished playing.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1172984 - 04/01/09 11:54 PM Re: Piano Recitals [color:#006600][i][b]NEVER[ bor [Re: Morodiene]
starlightgirl Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 10
First of all, this is a great topic. I had never thought about doing them before, but I love the idea of themed recitals. Does anyone have any more suggestions? smile

I have a studio that is half adult students and half children. Do you all think certificates are appropriate for both age groups? What incentives would be appropriate for adult students? I hate the idea that you have to take the fun out of things just to seem more "mature".

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#1173023 - 04/02/09 02:42 AM Re: Piano Recitals [color:#006600][i][b]NEVER[ bor [Re: starlightgirl]
EmilyChopin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/04/09
Posts: 65
Loc: Washington
To galex: How does one have a hundred appendectomies?

To the topic: Recitals are tricky. I knew of a teacher (she was a bad teacher, just a bad teacher, but this was a good idea) who had her students each play two pieces, but not one after the other--she mixed them up so that parents couldn't leave right after their kid. It was clever but she had too many students for it to work, and also they were quite terrible.

My piano teacher does great recitals! She always has a reception afterwards and she is terrific at keeping the students relaxed--I've been playing for nearly eleven years now and I don't think I've ever seen one of her students choke. I think the setting has a lot to do with it--they are usually in a small chapel or an area where the students are very close to the audience so they don't feel as isolated.

As for themed recitals, every Christmas she sends the better students to the local nursing home and we play Christmas songs for the old folks. They absolutely love it and it really takes pressure off the kids.
_________________________
Just because my instrument is the size of a table does not mean you may lean on it!

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#1173068 - 04/02/09 07:22 AM Re: Piano Recitals [color:#006600][i][b]NEVER[ bor [Re: EmilyChopin]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13779
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I think galex is referring to surgeons who perform appendectomies, and he's right, surgeons get tired of them after awhile.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1173072 - 04/02/09 07:34 AM Re: Piano Recitals [color:#006600][i][b]NEVER[ bor [Re: Kreisler]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5459
Loc: Orange County, CA
I have postponed my studio's spring recital until I can come up with an idea to make it more interesting.

At the fall studio recital, I made the mistake of putting everybody in one program, and it ran way too long. The experienced students have become blase about recitals, and they didn't even bother memorizing their pieces. It was such a disaster, it made me re-think my approach to recitals: not as a "dressed rehearsal" to bigger events like festivals and competitions, but as an important concert event in which playing well and being well-prepared matters!!

I need to tell students that recitals are serious events. These events demonstrate to people how much they've progressed since the last recital.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1173085 - 04/02/09 08:39 AM Re: Piano Recitals [color:#006600][i][b]NEVER[ bore me [Re: Morodiene]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
This year I'm trying a themed recital program....all contemporary music (jazz, rags, blues, boogies, rock) The students are really excited about their pieces. I also announce the awards at the end, and we have a reception following.
_________________________
~Stanny~

Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians
Member: MTNA, NGPT, ASMTA, NAMTA

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#1173128 - 04/02/09 10:12 AM Re: Piano Recitals [color:#006600][i][b]NEVER[ bore me [Re: Stanny]
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4977
Loc: boston north
Surendipity--

I'd want my child to study with you!

What enthusiasm and spirit you have. thumb

One of the best recitals I put on was when I had a section where another member of the student's family also participated with them. (Part of the getting the whole family to enjoy music, not just a kid taking piano lessons)

One father sang while child played. Aunt played flute and student piano. A couple of piano duets. One whole family sang while student acc. etc. This was just one section of the recital. It was not only to involve those in preparation of the recital, but to encourage other families in the audience to also become involved.

Another great recital was when I taught a semester of early composition. This was to very young students but they had to have experienced lessons for at least one year. It was one of my favorite projects and I continued it for several years (for beginners). Students learned things like how many measures make up phrases. Question and Answer phrases. Form (ABA etc). Improve on chords I IV V etc. They then 'composed' several songs and we picked the best for playing. Each composition also had to be written out, which of course involved music notation, and all the pieces were on display.

Recitals can be fun!

_________________________
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

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#1173677 - 04/03/09 07:23 AM Re: Piano Recitals [color:#006600][i][b]NEVER[ bore me [Re: lilylady]
lotuscrystal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/22/08
Posts: 304
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Rebekah:

I used to have these massive piano recitals, where I'd rent out city halls...you know the ones, that go on for 3 hours and that's just the performances!..and then there are photos and food after!

Never again...I tried something out last year and it went down a treat with everyone, so I'm doing it this year and probably forever.

I have 2 recitals per term, that's 8 per year. Sounds exhausting but it's not...it's easier than throwing a dinner party for mates.

As I live in a big house and I teach out of my lounge room (living room for you Northerners) which is my version of a very small concert hall (12ft high ceilings, size being, 11 by 9 metres), I hold the recitals there. I have 'themed' recitals...various ages, levels, composers, etc...For example, in May, I'm having a recital containing only the piano music of Yiruma, a South Korean composer who many of my students love. In June, I'm having a recital for '10years and under' piano students. In August, I'm having a 'Young Virtuouso' recital for my advanced and dedicated students. You get the idea.

Only 10 students max, are 'invited' to perform at any one recital, and I do stress 'invited' to all, as I like the students and parents to believe that it is a privelege to perform and not a strenuous labour to do so or to attend (every student gets at least one 'invite' per year, many, two or more) Therefore, total playing time lasts no more than 40 minutes (often, less time)...And after the piano playing, everyone moves into another room and we have a bit of a party...wine, soft drinks and food...where everyone is able to chat intimately and get to know each other, rather than feeling overwhelmed by mass crowds...this, I've witnessed has resulted in many friendships amongst the students and the parents. The whole recital is over in just over an hour. It's been a winner amongst everyone. It's not so much a recital as it is a 'piano soiree'. People like the idea...It's kind of an 'old world' concept and works really well today.

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#1174254 - 04/04/09 09:57 AM Re: Piano Recitals [color:#006600][i][b]NEVER[ bore me [Re: lotuscrystal]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7348
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
What a great bunch of ideas. I've done recitals for 30+ years and yet, some really great things here I'm itching to try.

Has anyone figured out an easy way to print out threads?
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1174531 - 04/04/09 06:05 PM Re: Piano Recitals [color:#006600][i][b]NEVER[ bore me [Re: John v.d.Brook]
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4977
Loc: boston north
Cut and paste several messages to Word.
then print!

I often even copy/paste to a new email message and save/print.
_________________________
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

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#1174601 - 04/04/09 08:58 PM Re: Piano Recitals [color:#006600][i][b]NEVER[ bore me [Re: lilylady]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7348
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Yes, but it would be neat if there were a "Reformat to print" option. Maybe someday . . .
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

Top
#1174609 - 04/04/09 09:23 PM Re: Piano Recitals [color:#006600][i][b]NEVER[ bore me [Re: John v.d.Brook]
DragonPianoPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 2368
Loc: Denver, CO
John,

Select "Email Post," enter your email address, and select "Entire Thread." You will receive an email version of the entire thread.

Rich
_________________________

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#1174610 - 04/04/09 09:26 PM Re: Piano Recitals [color:#006600][i][b]NEVER[ bore me [Re: John v.d.Brook]
ClaraSchumann Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/25/05
Posts: 73
One idea no one has mentioned yet is a costume recital. This idea came from a commenter here a few years ago. I do this every year for my ensemble recital. The students love it! I thought parents might find it a bit too silly, but as long as the costumes are very simple, they're always perfectly happy.

Most years, I also do an outdoor Christmas in July recital. Many students like this performance opportunity best because they can wear whatever they want. And even the older teens enjoy the special visit from a bermuda-shorts-and-sunglasses-wearing Santa.

These are fun, but I also strongly believe in a formal, dress-up recital at least once a year. But formal doesn't have to mean stuffy or boring.

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#1174678 - 04/05/09 12:28 AM Re: Piano Recitals [color:#006600][i][b]NEVER[ bore me [Re: ClaraSchumann]
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5507
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
For printing, there's a Topic Options button at the top of the thread. One of the options is "print topic" - it will give you a preview that you can then print with the (what looks to me like a kleenex box but is the) printer icon on your computer smile

Rich - the e-mail option is really clever.

Cathy
_________________________

Top
#1174690 - 04/05/09 01:07 AM Re: Piano Recitals [color:#006600][i][b]NEVER[ bore me [Re: lotuscrystal]
Nannerl Mozart Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 732
Loc: Australia, Melbourne
Originally Posted By: lotuscrystal
Rebekah:

I used to have these massive piano recitals, where I'd rent out city halls...you know the ones, that go on for 3 hours and that's just the performances!..and then there are photos and food after!

Never again...I tried something out last year and it went down a treat with everyone, so I'm doing it this year and probably forever.

I have 2 recitals per term, that's 8 per year. Sounds exhausting but it's not...it's easier than throwing a dinner party for mates.

As I live in a big house and I teach out of my lounge room (living room for you Northerners) which is my version of a very small concert hall (12ft high ceilings, size being, 11 by 9 metres), I hold the recitals there. I have 'themed' recitals...various ages, levels, composers, etc...For example, in May, I'm having a recital containing only the piano music of Yiruma, a South Korean composer who many of my students love. In June, I'm having a recital for '10years and under' piano students. In August, I'm having a 'Young Virtuouso' recital for my advanced and dedicated students. You get the idea.

Only 10 students max, are 'invited' to perform at any one recital, and I do stress 'invited' to all, as I like the students and parents to believe that it is a privelege to perform and not a strenuous labour to do so or to attend (every student gets at least one 'invite' per year, many, two or more) Therefore, total playing time lasts no more than 40 minutes (often, less time)...And after the piano playing, everyone moves into another room and we have a bit of a party...wine, soft drinks and food...where everyone is able to chat intimately and get to know each other, rather than feeling overwhelmed by mass crowds...this, I've witnessed has resulted in many friendships amongst the students and the parents. The whole recital is over in just over an hour. It's been a winner amongst everyone. It's not so much a recital as it is a 'piano soiree'. People like the idea...It's kind of an 'old world' concept and works really well today.



Great ideas everyone! Betty, I was initially reffering to solo recitals and that itself was laborious to me as many people in the audience would look away or somewhere else, I did enquire about student recitals though as it was interesting to me to see how teachers responded to recitals.

Lotus, the city hall thing sounds familiar. I would agree that its not really that tricky to organise piano recitals oppossed to dinner with your mates. Many piano teachers I know confess that you work with the student before the recital but when it comes you just leave them on stage and relax, there is no need to chase ensemble members, nor is there a need to worry about a sound system set up.

Thanks for your home recital ideas its had me thinking now ...

I think the idea of theming it is fun, thats happened in the past but some people have complained of not being 'comfy.'

These ideas are great as I am planning a quartet recital in a month's time, only this time I am planning to have it with a pianist /accompanist, a flautist and 2 vocalists. (4 people performing but a singer is doubling as a pianist). (10 - 15 audience members) I was thinking of a small setting (in my house) with really comfy seats (the couch and people lying on the rug - with cushions on the rug). I was thinking dim lights to make it atmospheric amd candles (one of the singers will sing the 'music of the night' aria from phantom. Also having cocktail food passed around as the performances go on or maybe afterwards when people mingle, I might not bother with a program as its really informal. The emceeing style I hope to achieve is something with wit but at the same time informative, little anecdotes here and there of bloopers during recital or other silly (yet related) instances. Any crticisms? Or comments? I'm always interested to improve the recital set up so the audience will get maximum enjoyment.
_________________________
http://colouredsilence.wordpress.com/


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#1174778 - 04/05/09 09:07 AM Re: Piano Recitals [color:#006600][i][b]NEVER[ bore me [Re: DragonPianoPlayer]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7348
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: DragonPianoPlayer
John,

Select "Email Post," enter your email address, and select "Entire Thread." You will receive an email version of the entire thread.

Rich


Thanks, Rich. Just what I was looking for. A bit oblique, but what works, works!
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

Top
#1174831 - 04/05/09 10:56 AM Re: Piano Recitals [color:#006600][i][b]NEVER[ bore me [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Wombat66 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/31/05
Posts: 262
Loc: Cornwall UK
I have found this thread interesting and am only jumping in to strongly refute the contention proposed by Galex and seconded by Kreisler, that surgeons should find their work boring simply because they do a lot of it.
I cannot speak for a general surgeon performing an appendicectomy, since I am not a general surgeon and I have never performed an appendicectomy – interestingly Mrs W once did when she was a junior doctor, the appendix was normal, because it transpired the patient (a prisoner) had been faking his symptoms to get admitted to hospital from where it had apparently been planned that his accomplices would spring him to freedom.
Unluckily for the prisoner he had faked his symptoms too well, and Mrs W, only a few months out of medical school, got to him before his fellow felons could. He certainly wasn’t going anywhere once she’d been let loose on his appendix. Anyway like Mr Brook with his infernal printing, I digress.
In my particular field I have performed several thousand of the same operation, and have not tired of performing it yet. I have discussed this very point with colleagues (some of whom perform a great deal more of the same operation than me) and we all agree it never get’s boring. Indeed if one gets too casual about this particular procedure you start getting complications. And there’s nothing more boring than a pissed off patient who has had a poor surgical result.
Returning to pianos, and recitals in particular. Over a 40 year career, one teacher may put on perhaps 150 recitals at most – how could this possibly be considered boring on the grounds of repetition? Particularly when spread over such a long time frame. The chorus girl of a long running Broadway musical doesn’t get bored of performing a similar number of shows over a much shorter time frame, let alone the lead actor.
If a teacher considers recitals boring perhaps they shouldn’t put them on.
Personally I would rather let Mrs W loose on my appendix than have to attend a piano recital in fancy dress, or even dress the little W’s up.
Rebeccah, whilst I’m sure that you are a witty and humerous individual, I would much rather my daughters teacher didn’t do a Victor Borge at her recital. If the teacher was good at it, it would detract from the playing and take the limelight away from the real stars (my daughter!), and if, like most piano teachers, you were n’t very good at it, it would be utterly cringe making and put me off going again.
We have now had the same teacher for 6 years and I love going to my daughters teacher’s recitals. I love watching the other children perform – especially the good one’s and I love watching other peoples children progress over the years from elementary pieces to more advanced repetoire, I also thoroughly enjoy having a glass of wine provided by my teacher and nattering to other parents afterwards.
Fortunately I’ve never been called on to perform yet. I know I’d be embarrassingly hopeless!

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#1174849 - 04/05/09 11:47 AM Re: Piano Recitals [color:#006600][i][b]NEVER[ bore me [Re: jotur]
DragonPianoPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 2368
Loc: Denver, CO
Originally Posted By: jotur
For printing, there's a Topic Options button at the top of the thread. One of the options is "print topic" - it will give you a preview that you can then print with the (what looks to me like a kleenex box but is the) printer icon on your computer smile

Rich - the e-mail option is really clever.

Cathy


Thanks Cathy, but I wonder if it would cause problems with the server if someone printed the Chopin Thread?

Rich
_________________________

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#1174905 - 04/05/09 02:06 PM Re: Piano Recitals [color:#006600][i][b]NEVER[ bore me [Re: DragonPianoPlayer]
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5507
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Originally Posted By: DragonPianoPlayer
Originally Posted By: jotur
For printing, there's a Topic Options button at the top of the thread. One of the options is "print topic" - it will give you a preview that you can then print with the (what looks to me like a kleenex box but is the) printer icon on your computer smile

Rich - the e-mail option is really clever.

Cathy


Thanks Cathy, but I wonder if it would cause problems with the server if someone printed the Chopin Thread?

Rich


laugh I don't know about the server, but one might run out of kleenex -

Cathy
_________________________

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#1175154 - 04/05/09 09:30 PM Re: Piano Recitals [color:#006600][i][b]NEVER[ bore me [Re: Wombat66]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7348
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: Wombat66
.....I also thoroughly enjoy having a glass of wine provided by my teacher and nattering to other parents afterwards.


That is something I really miss about teaching in Germany - and our recitals. The local city civic center, aka Kongresshalle, not only had a fantastic Steinway C of recent vintage, you could actually imbibe a bit of wine during intermission. None of my parents complained of longer recitals, especially after a glass of bubbly.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1175277 - 04/06/09 02:53 AM Re: Piano Recitals [color:#006600][i][b]NEVER[ bore me [Re: JWAbacus]
trillingadventurer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/28/08
Posts: 304
Loc: San Diego
* While one little boy played the star wars theme, two other little boys did a light saber sword fight in their Jedi Costumes.

*Some of my students do puppet shows while other students accompany on the piano....Kind of like the muppet show....

*I keep the recital to no more than 60 minutes

*Some of my students improvise their piece AT the recital.

*Some of my students write their own original pieces

*I pick one student to "design" the program art-work.

*I allow them to play on the grand piano and a digital piano with interesting sounds.

I suppose my recitals can also be called shows.

Ah cha, cha, cha!
_________________________
M. Katchur

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#1179368 - 04/13/09 02:15 AM Re: Piano Recitals [color:#006600][i][b]NEVER[ bore me [Re: trillingadventurer]
asiantraveller101 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/08
Posts: 158
Loc: ME
I keep my recitals not longer than 1 hour, and I make sure that each recital has a good mix of different level of playing and repertoire. Because of that, I have 2 or 3 separate sessions that students can choose to sign up for. It works out pretty good.
_________________________
JN

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#1180942 - 04/15/09 02:01 PM Re: Piano Recitals [color:#006600][i][b]NEVER[ bore me [Re: JWAbacus]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
I agree with you, I do not look forward to them either! After working on the pieces for so long and hearing them time after time, I am relieved to be done with it. I have the kids do the entire thing. I don't speak a word. They all say 2-4 sentences about their recital choices. I tell them to find something interesting about it/the composer, not dates etc...
They introduce each other. They do the writing/welcoming and the writing/closing. All I do is hand out their awards. I find that the audiences usually like the kids more, they're cuter than I am lol and it makes them feel good about it, even if they don't play perfectly. They are never more than an hour long either.
As far as parent's mingling, I find that when the kids make the program covers (I use ALL the covers that come to me, we do not "pick our favorite") they mingle afterward if only to get the cover that their own child made :-)
_________________________
It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

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#1182440 - 04/17/09 05:41 PM Re: Piano Recitals [color:#006600][i][b]NEVER[ bore me [Re: Ebony and Ivory]
asiantraveller101 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/08
Posts: 158
Loc: ME
Dear Ebony and Ivory,
I like your idea of getting the students to host the recitals, and I just sit back and enjoy! I also like the idea of students designing the program covers. I shall try them both out in my next recital.
_________________________
JN

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#1182458 - 04/17/09 05:54 PM Re: Piano Recitals [color:#006600][i][b]NEVER[ bore me [Re: asiantraveller101]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
Awesome! Glad I could share :-)
I used to do voting on the cover designs, but it really isn't fair with such a range of ages, and it really doesn't take any more effort to make them all.
Plus it's cool to see how their drawings progress over the years too!
_________________________
It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

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#1182596 - 04/17/09 09:42 PM Re: Piano Recitals bore me [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
Mrs.A Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 155
These are great ideas.

I have students participate in 2 auditions a year and one big recital My recital is an awards recital and reception. I divide the students up into three recitals (all on one day) so each recital is not too long- 45 minutes tops. At this recital we recognize the students achievements for the year. I ask parents to bring cookies for a reception. It is a busy Saturday for me with three recitals but seems to work well. I also arrange mini recitals with 4-5 students to play at various nursing home. It is smaller crowd of parents and less stress for students but it still gives students performance opportunities. I encourage students to build a repertoire list and depend on the competition preparation for the recitals.

I do believe a recital should have entertainment value for the audience so I ask advance students for all three recitals. It is a privilege for students to be asked to perform for all the recitals….and it makes my studio look good…… I also play duets with beginner students to make it more interesting for the listener.
_________________________
Piano Teacher.
Church Music Director.
Kindermusik Instructor.
Mom to four boys.


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