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#934864 - 04/18/08 03:21 AM Casual recital ideas?
lana_lang Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 45
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area, CA
I only have 2 students and I always struggle to find venues for them to perform in. This Sunday I am holding an informal recital at my home for these two boys, their families, and some mutual friends. But what to do besides have them play their pieces, and then eat food and mingle?

I would like to do something more, to make things more entertaining. But my mind is drawing a blank.

part-time piano teacher for 1.5 years

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#934865 - 04/18/08 10:12 AM Re: Casual recital ideas?
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2919
Loc: UK.
How about contacting some other local teachers (who might be in the same position) and arranging a larger recital between you? You could also maybe look at music festivals or if you are in some kind of union they often hold recitals for their members.
Pianist and piano teacher.

#934866 - 04/18/08 12:13 PM Re: Casual recital ideas?
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
I'd call it a "Piano Party".

If I had time, I'd look for magazine covers I've collected that show boys at the piano with many different kinds of sports apparel and uniforms on. One was a football player ready for the game with helmet, practicing the piano, another was a swimmer ready for the pool with swimming goggles and swim fins on, practicing the piano. I'd frame them for the refreshment table.

I'd prepare a written program of the boys complete recital pieces for today with date, location, and a musical quote or graphic.

I'd take pictures of the young men alone (portrait at the piano) and I'd get a picture of the group each student invited with the student in the center.

I would hope to cultivate a friendship between them so they felt interested in each others progress, but not competetive. (Self competition is more than enough.) Kind of an "we're in this together" attitude, "let's do our best".

That brings to mind the possibility of them playing duets together, or with the teacher?

That's the end of my "imagination" on "what I would do".

#934867 - 04/18/08 12:25 PM Re: Casual recital ideas?
SAnnM AB 2001 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/20/04
Posts: 2024
Loc: Canada
I am an adult student whose teacher only has one or two other private students. We don't have recitals and yesterday I called the local music store that has lessons and asked them how they would feel about my playing in one of their recitals for the experience. They were very receptive. I have to pay for one lesson so they can see where I fit but I think it might be something I can do. Of course now I'm thinking....Do I really want to do this???
It's the journey not the destination..

#934868 - 04/18/08 01:18 PM Re: Casual recital ideas?
lana_lang Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 45
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Thanks for the ideas. I've already put an ad on Craigslist to get in touch with other teachers.

I like your picture ideas a lot, Betty. I think I will do them. A program is a good idea too, just to make it seem more "official".

part-time piano teacher for 1.5 years

#934869 - 04/19/08 02:56 AM Re: Casual recital ideas?
AZNpiano Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 6924
Loc: Orange County, CA
I'd like to echo what Chris H. suggested--ask other piano teachers in the area to host a combined recital. I do that regularly with my colleagues.
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

#934870 - 04/24/08 01:27 PM Re: Casual recital ideas?
michellesisler Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/15/08
Posts: 3
Loc: Minnesota
I teach a lot of elementary kids and we have a Halloween recital where all the kids dress in their Halloween costume. It helps them play in front of a crowd, especially for their first recital, and makes it more interesting for the audience.

Before I had enough students to hold this recital at our current location, I held the Halloween recital at my own studio for students only and they still gained the performance experience in a fun way.

Another idea for having just a few students is to take them up to an assisted living place. They always welcome having students play for them and always appreciate it.

#934871 - 04/28/08 08:48 PM Re: Casual recital ideas?
itsamusicallife Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2
Loc: fl
My last recital was a "mystery compose" recital. I drew the students' names out of a hat for order of play. Some of them read clues about the composer as they came up to play. At the end we had a time for students and audience to guess who it was.
No one could get it. So I play one of his most famous pieces. They all knew the song, but not the composer. So one student came up and played an 8 count drum roll. Another student held
up a big poster with the composer's name on it to present the
composer. They loved it. All the parents did too. We sometimes
have a best friend recital so their best friends can come and enjoy
a party after. My students love recitals.

#934872 - 04/28/08 09:36 PM Re: Casual recital ideas?
itsamusicallife Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2
Loc: fl
I want to have an around the world recital, too. They can learn songs from all over the world, and maybe we can all try to dress
up in native wear from each country. I'll have to work on that one.

#934873 - 04/29/08 06:19 PM Re: Casual recital ideas?
Bachfan39 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/17/08
Posts: 82
Loc: Vancouver, BC
- play a little piece yourself for the recital, something the kids would like
- have a game where each child simultaneously plays a little repeating segment, maybe alternating between 2 or 3 harmonies, with you playing a little melody on top
- videotape the recital and have a spotlight
- see if you can rent a nice hall, church, or piano store, so you can have them play on a different instrument in a special setting

#934874 - 04/30/08 03:50 PM Re: Casual recital ideas?
ChristinaW Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/05/04
Posts: 153
Loc: Washington DC
I've never taken from a teacher that only had two students, so I can see that this might not seem like the most exciting recital for them. I really would try to find a couple other teachers/students in the same situation to combine forces so you have at least 4-6 performers.

FInding a new setting can be nice, although some teachers have really nice pianos and big rooms that are good for these events, anyway. If you have a good piano and nice room and can fit in a couple dozen guests, I think a home actually is a nicer environment than a piano store. A church or hall with a piano (my town hall community center has one) can be nice to give a "stage" effect, but a store doesn't sound so nice to me.

If you want audience, I suggest putting flyers in the neighborhood, actually. I have done that when I wanted to give a little recital of mine own or to practice for a big recital, and I know others who did, also (where I got the idea from, another student of my teacher). The thing is that for some elderly people or those who don't get out much, or don't go to concerts, it can be a real treat to go to a private musical recital in a nearby home. They can really appreciate it. If you know any neighbors close by who fit that description, you might invite them. Although for that, you would want more than just two pieces, perhaps.


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