First Recital Ideas – All Level 1 Students
Rebecca N., Utah
Any suggestions for a new teacher with 22 students, all in Foundation 1, on how to organize a fun recital, where everyone participates with only the 10 foundation pieces + arrangements? My students range from 6 to 18 and two adults that I hope would participate. This won’t happen until we’re done with foundation 1 (Maybe end of May), but were finishing Ode to Joy right now and I’d like to start to get an idea of how to assign songs, or put them together in duets/arrangements etc.
Elisa J., New Jersey
I’ve had a couple of students do a duet with DCT on the top and Honey Dew on the bottom. You can also have a student play Honey Dew or Amazing Grace while the rest of the students sing the melody.
Darla H., Kansas
At my first SM recital in 2008, it happened to be at Christmas time and I had 17 students participating. Everyone played one Christmas accompaniment and one other song–foundation, arrangement or piece they composed. I had students tell me their first and second choices of songs to play and went from there planning a program that wouldn’t have too much repetition. You could also include some improvisation–for example: black-note improvisation, duets where one plays Honey Dew and the other improvises in C position, or one plays Jackson or Bishop St while the other improvises on 3 notes of the blues scale. Since this will not be at Christmas time, you won’t want to do Christmas accompaniments, but you could have students play an accompaniment from Songs for Children. If you’re not already using this, it is an absolutely fantastic addition to our curriculum and I think would be a lot of fun at a first recital! With our Christmas accomp, each student had the choice of asking a family member to play an instrument or sing with them, have other students sing while they played, or have the whole audience sing. I had quite a variety that first recital, despite only having taught SM for 3 1/2 months.
Melva M., Mississippi
I also have some of the students perform their own compositions.
Incidentally, we just had a recital/piano party last Saturday. It included songs from Levels 2 – 5, students own compositions, as well as a student showcasing what she learned in class by applying it, and taking initiative to come up with her own arrangement of a very popular song from the movie Titanic. Don’t ya just love it when they discover what they know! I was about to lose an adult student who doesn’t want to keep her playlist alive, until she saw what this student did with just the concepts of the I, IV, V, vi , “bottom, middle, top, middle”, and the DCT 3 LH pattern. Realizing that she too already owns these tools, she is now rededicated to her playlist being kept alive, and mastering the use of these tools.
We also played 2 games during the recital, and I gave door prizes. The two games were musical chairs (the person left standing each time provided the music, improvising over the black keys) and “hot potato”. There were two rows of pews and I had two balloons to be passed. When the music stops, the two who were caught with the balloons (or touched the balloons last) had to play a duet together — again just over the black keys. They were suppose to just pass the balloon, but somehow it ended up with everyone hitting the balloon around, which resulted in lots of laughter and the appearance of people trying to get away from a bee, rather than a “hot potato” being dropped. It was hilarious!
The ones who had never been to one of my recitals/parties said that it was the “funnest” recital they had ever attended. One young lady, who teaches guitar, said she plans on incorporating games into her recitals now too.
I also made sure that everyone knew that my students weren’t reading music notation yet, so then after having just seen the results produced by this method, I had several folks inquiring afterwards about the method.
Suzanne S., Texas
My first recital was last spring. The students had gone through FD 1 and part way through FD 2. Some things I did with 15 students besides the basic songs were Honey Dew Duet with Dreams Come True, Nightstorm to Daylight (same song again on C), Chester Really Chills Out (duet with teacher), Ode to Joy in 2 keys (Am is the second key), Australian Duet (with teacher), Australian Duet & Improv (2 brothers), original compositions by the students (example: Honey Dew chords in the LH and they create a RH melody using C, D, E, G, A which is the Pentatonic Scale), Medley of the Blues along with the student’s variations and ending with the blues scale. Each student did 2 songs, and everyone had fun. A lunch of cupcakes, etc., afterwards gave everyone a chance to visit.
Just had the 2nd recital with students into FD 4 songs. There was a Dad playing guitar with his son and a sister playing violin for her little sister’s accompaniment. One little girl loved “Dog?” but wanted to add a bee to the picture. I showed her how to go up and down the chromatic scale to make a bee sound, and she created “The Dog & The Bee”. Students love to be able to create either their own songs or add their own variations to existing songs. They just need a few suggestions to get them going.
Original discussion started April 19, 2012