My Wonderful Recital
Sheri R., California
Just wanted to share a little about the wonderful recitals I just did. There were 60 people at 2 pm who cleared out by 3:45pm just in time for the next group of about 50 who came at 4 pm.
I think I got this idea from the ECL at some point, but ahead of time I let everyone know that any parent/child duets would earn a place in the drawing for a free lesson. I had a dad play guitar, and two moms with very trained voices sing Sleeping and Star Spangled Banner while their kids played. A few parents said they were going to put something together for next time when they saw how much fun it was. I think it really added a nice dimension – not only did the audience love it, but I think the parents really enjoyed the opportunity. A lot of kids did duets too.
We also referred to the words (to all the songs that have words through Level 8, including the accompaniment songs), and so there was a lot of group singing. I think most people agree that it feels good to sing together. As each child introduced themself and their 3 songs I asked if we could sing to their playing. Some said no, but most said yes. I think for those who said yes it was a very special experience to have a roomful of people singing along to their playing. One of my student’s (after many weeks of gently encouraging (and begging!) her to do her first recital–she’s 17) played the Beatle’s Hey Jude and almost everyone sang along to that (a few families from India didn’t!). The kids all thought it was great that we all knew a song they didn’t!
The 17 year-old who played Hey Jude enjoyed the experience so much that as people were leaving she continued to play and she didn’t stop until after everyone was here from the next group – just improvising with chords. It was great! After not wanting to do this recital she can’t wait for the next one. I had everyone bring food and drinks that we had after each recital. The music part lasted about 45 minutes which I think is just about right – the kids don’t get squirmy and the adults appreciate not having to sit through 2 hours of lots of repetition (Alma again anyone?!)
One of the benefits of having the recital in my home is that it limits the number of people so it naturally keeps the recital on the shorter side. More time to party afterwards! I got a lot of very nice comments and kids as well as parents are eagerly anticipating the next one. So is the teacher! Everything except setting up and breaking down the chairs and moving furniture to and from the garage!
Attached is a Certificate I made and gave to each child. Also attached is something another teacher contributed some time ago that I thought I would make available again. I sent this to all the parents so they would be better able to encourage any reluctant children. I think it’s helpful for parents to know the many benefits, that aren’t always obvious, to having their kids be part of public performance. I had 100% participation except for some students who were ill.
Back to teaching. . .until the next bi-annual recital.
Original discussion started May 17, 2007