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#1185343 - 04/22/09 03:07 PM your student recitals: do you perform?
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1654
Loc: northern California
I have been teaching for many years and have never played at my students' recitals (the ones I host for them). My teachers never performed at mine when I was a student, either. I am hearing that these days it's the thing to do, for us to play at our students' recitals. Do you do this?
A couple of parents are bugging me to "play something" at their kids' recitals. Is this appropriate?
Thanks everyone!
Piano Teacher

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#1185361 - 04/22/09 03:28 PM Re: your student recitals: do you perform? [Re: Barb860]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
nope, I will not.

I will do a duet occasionally, but I do not play solos at them.

I will play for the kids at their lessons if they want, but I don't feel it's appropriate to play at my student's recitals. That's their day to shine.

It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

#1185449 - 04/22/09 06:17 PM Re: your student recitals: do you perform? [Re: Ebony and Ivory]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1654
Loc: northern California
Wow, I so agree with you! I don't feel comfortable playing at my students' recital AT ALL. The odd thing is, these same parents keep asking me over and over if I will please play something, to "motivate" the kids. Ugh. I have said no every time. At our last recital, which was a Christmas music program, I did play a little bit AFTER the formal recital ended. Folks were having refreshments, milling around the piano, etc. and a couple of kids asked me to play so I did, but it was very discreet.
Thanks for your input.
Do parents ever ask you to play and if so, what do you tell them?
Piano Teacher

#1185506 - 04/22/09 08:47 PM Re: your student recitals: do you perform? [Re: Barb860]
ProdigalPianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 1049
Loc: Phoenix Metro, AZ
I have been to one recital where the teacher performed. In this case, it was a recital of only the teacher's adult students. The teacher played the first piece, to 'break the ice'. When she was speaking before she played, the language she used made it clear that she was intending this event to be a mutual sharing, rather than an anxiety-inducing formal occasion to 'perform'.

I assumed at the time this was in response to reservations from some of her adult students to playing in a traditional format recital.

In this case it worked very well. Some people got up after the 'quasi-formal' part and played their pieces again (if they felt they could do better) or played other pieces. It was in a piano store recital hall so there was a certain amount of milling about and trying out pianos individually and in small groups after.

I do go see my teacher perform, but she's a DMA student and I go to her recitals (actually her last one was last Sunday so I guess I won't do that anymore!) and New Music concerts...
Adult Amateur Pianist

My only domestic quality is that I live in a house.

#1185553 - 04/22/09 10:21 PM Re: your student recitals: do you perform? [Re: ProdigalPianist]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1654
Loc: northern California
Thanks for this input. The few parents who are asking me to play had a former teacher for their kids. Apparently, she played "several" pieces at the close of her students' recitals. (?)
So in telling folks I don't want to play because "this is for the kids", I don't want to criticize the former teacher's way of doing things.
Piano Teacher

#1185565 - 04/22/09 10:50 PM Re: your student recitals: do you perform? [Re: Barb860]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7639
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Barb, if you get a chance, do a search on this topic. There have been some "heavy" discussions on the pros and cons of playing. I do not, as I find it egoistical and intrusive, but others see it exactly the other way around.
"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

#1185669 - 04/23/09 04:21 AM Re: your student recitals: do you perform? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
AZNpiano Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 6916
Loc: Orange County, CA
Yes, I do perform at the end of my studio recitals. I use the opportunity to inspire my students and to show them that I'm human, too. I do not aim for a perfect performance. Instead, I use these performances to convey feelings, to make artistic expressions, to play from the heart. I don't want a studio full of robots.
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

#1185994 - 04/23/09 05:01 PM Re: your student recitals: do you perform? [Re: AZNpiano]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1654
Loc: northern California
John and AZN, thank you for your input. So I'm learning that this issue of teachers playing at their students' recitals is really a personal thing. If I decide to play, I will have to be confident in my decision and not worry about offending anyone who might think I have some sort of an ego issue.
I would play for 2 reasons: 1. some parents have been bugging me to do it for years and 2. to just share something, maybe a subtle Chopin piece, not flashy, from the heart.
And if I do play for this recital, it doesn't mean I would do so every time. I have hosted many recitals and have never played at any of them.
Thanks again.
Piano Teacher

#1186640 - 04/24/09 04:30 PM Re: your student recitals: do you perform? [Re: Barb860]
Ridicolosamente Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/08/08
Posts: 1475
Loc: Albany, NY, USA
Sorry for intruding as I am not a teacher, but I always wished my teacher would have played at our recitals. I respected him very much and did not in any way hold it against him, but, I thought it would have been nice to hear a live performance by someone more talented than I am. This was of course before my days of being able to afford concert tickets, or even before having a driver's license. smile

Just play an appropriate piece. I once saw a teacher of younger students (6-10 years) who played Chopin's G minor Ballade at the end of her student recital. Nice performance, but I think a bit over everyone's head.

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