Comparing Annual Recitals
Jan D., Ohio
Last year, I had only switched to teaching Simply Music about two months before my annual recital. Yesterday, I had my first recital with students playing who had been learning SM for the entire year. I compared what they played last year to this year and I was amazed at the progress.
Using Oh Danny Boy from the end of accompaniment clues 1, an 18-year-old student played the flute and a 10-year-old student accompanied her. It was beautiful! Two sisters, ages 10 and 15, played Let It Be, one on clarinet and one on piano. An 8-year-old boy played Star-Spangled Banner while his mom played the melody. A 5 1/2-year-old boy played one of his compositions. Everybody loved it! One of my students who is going to major in flute next year in college and I played Sonata for Flute and Piano by Francis Poulenc. My 10-year-old daughter played She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain and Scarborough Fair with one of the accompaniment variations and I played the melody along with her. An 8-year-old girl who threw a fit about learning Ode to Joy a few months ago played Ode to Joy ABCB order from Level 2 because it is now her favorite piece. Several students who had terrible experiences with traditional lessons before beginning Simply Music in the fall of 2005 played beautifully and left the stage with smiles on their faces. We had about 23 “acts” on the program.
Next year I hope to include more family and friend ensembles as well as some sing-a-longs. I also had parents asking if we could have more than one recital each year so I hope to have some informal get-togethers throughout the year that anyone with an instrument can join in – what fun!
As far as the 10 minutes before the recital, I have never had trouble with a quiet crowd. I always ask for help setting up the fellowship hall and sanctuary, so several students and parents arrive early to help. I always ask students to bring food for our reception following the recital so everyone is busy setting that up as they arrive. Before we get started someone is usually playing on the piano, family and friends are talking, and everyone seems calm and relaxed.
One parent whose 6-year-old daughter has just been taking for 12 weeks (she only has Alma Mater Blues left to learn in level 1) asked how long most of the students who played had been taking lessons. He guessed that most had been playing for at least 3 years. He could hardly believe that most of the students who played yesterday had been taking between 2 and 9 months. I can’t wait to hear what students are doing next year after two full years of Simply Music!
Original discussion started May 29, 2006