Recital question

Posted by: jen7

Recital question - 09/10/04 09:45 AM


This year I have 17 students, and I am trying to plan out the year-end recital. (I normally have only about 12 students, so this is why I have some questions!)

I'm planning on holding the recital at a nursing home, like I have done in the past. Usually the kids play 2 pieces, and then a fun Christmas piece/duet. Since there are 17 students, I have a feeling the program will be way to long for all the residents, not to mention the families coming. What do you suggest?

I thought each student could play 2 pieces if I hold it in Nov. (skip the Chirstmas songs) OR everyone plays 1 piece and 1 Christmas piece... I don't know! I do not want the program to last more then 45min.-an hour.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks!
Posted by: Lisa Kalmar

Re: Recital question - 09/10/04 09:51 AM

Try giving two mini-recitals instead, with a break in between. Or you could have them on different days, which I doubt you would like....
Posted by: jen7

Re: Recital question - 09/10/04 11:00 AM

Well, I did think of giving "two mini recitals" but my mom thought the break in between would be distracting for everyone. ??
Posted by: playsteinway

Re: Recital question - 09/10/04 11:22 AM

You don't actually have ALL your students at both "mini recitals" when you do this.
Say if you have students in levels Primer to 5 you divide them up and do a recital for primer through level 2 lets say and then after they are done, they're done. They can go home. The break is for YOU to get set up for the next mini recital. Say, an hour between. Then you do it again with levels 3 to 5. When they finish, go home.
The ones who may have students in the first and second recital you can ask if they can stay and help set up, clean up and help you get ready for the next group rather than have them go home or just wait around in your way. Put them to work folding programs for the next group, straightening chairs, picking up junk that may have been left behind by the last recital etc... This way you can focus on getting awards ready, going over last minute things to tell the students in the next group before they arrive and make sure things are the way you want them.
Posted by: jen7

Re: Recital question - 09/10/04 01:58 PM

OK, that's a good idea. Thanks!! But what about the residents at the home?... they probably won't stick around for the "2nd" recital... hmm...
Posted by: Christine

Re: Recital question - 09/10/04 02:18 PM

I have always taught approximately 40 students a year, and have always held recitals twice a year. I divide my students into two well-balanced groups, so I don't have all beginners at one recital and all intermediate/advanced at another. Each recital lasts about 30-45 minutes. I have on several occasions held my recitals at a senior living center. Usually the director will post the upcoming recitals, and you would be surprised at how many residents DO stay for both. They love listening to the music.
Posted by: Susan

Re: Recital question - 09/10/04 03:11 PM

Why not let them just play 1 piece? 17 students makes a lovely recital about 35-40 minutes long, unless you have a lot of beginners. The beginners can play 2 pieces if they are under 1 min. in length.
I do agree that if they play 2 pieces you should have 2 recitals. I sat through so many recitals with my daughter that I thought would never end. Everyone was so restless, you could feel it in the air. Sitting through a student recital longer than 45 min. is torture, unless the students are very advanced. I know this is probably not a politically correct thing for a piano teacher to say, but it's the way I feel.
Posted by: jen7

Re: Recital question - 09/11/04 12:38 PM

Thanks so much for all the suggestions!

I think I'll have everyone play 2 pieces, unless it's a looong piece. I really would hate to split the group in half... so hopefully, this will work out. And I'll skip the Christmas songs totally for the recital, and instead give them one in Dec. that they can enjoy during our Chistmas break.

Thank you again!!
Posted by: jaydub2

Re: Recital question - 09/11/04 02:37 PM

I also had a huge dilema about splitting up my recitals as my studio grew. As the number of families increased in the studio, I was having a hard time connecting with all the students & their family after the recital was finished. So I've enjoyed the smaller recitals and wouldn'tgo back to the longer, more hurried format. Shorter works better for me because I am able to talk to just about everyone.
Posted by: Sally Ritchie

Re: Recital question - 09/12/04 05:33 AM

I too have struggled with the recital length issues. I feel bad having to limit what the students play, especially when they are getting more advanced. Their music is so enjoyable to listen to and I hate to tell them they can only play one piece. Since I have many advanced students, I added an advanced recital. The audience knows ahead that it will be more serious music and will be longer. We did have an intermission to get up and stretch. It worked out beautifully. For the other recitals, I let each student do a solo but if they wanted to do another song, it had to be either a duet or a larger ensemble. That worked out quite well. The people who wanted to hear more were able to attend more than one recital.
Posted by: playsteinway

Re: Recital question - 09/12/04 07:25 PM

I have a question myself. I am getting into the pre planning stages of recital for my students. I have 25 and am growing by at least 3 to 7 students a month for the last quarter. I would like to do a spring recital that is "different" from what I have done in the past. I have a wide range of students from age 5 through age 14 in levels primer through three. I would like some theme suggestions for recitals (hopefully different from what I have done in the past)to get some ideas to do something different this time around.

In the past I have done: Classical (most of mine are), American, duets, movies and broadway, sacred, the old west, fifties night, jazz/ragtime recital(it was a USO theme and one of the favorites for everyone) and patriotic.

I was thinking about doing a "students pick" on this one for the first recital and letting them pick a favorite song to play or learn for the program but Im not "set in stone" yet on this. What are some themes you have used?

[ 09-12-2004: Message edited by: playsteinway ]
Posted by: Carole

Re: Recital question - 09/12/04 08:24 PM

A while back someone mentioned having a recital Valentine's Day or around, although guess that is not quite Spring. Wasn't it a dinner theater type of thing? Martin, was that you? Anyway, that would be different and sounds like alot of fun.
Posted by: Susan

Re: Recital question - 09/12/04 08:40 PM

A while back I got the idea I would do a theme recital, and I found enough pieces to do a Seafaring recital, an animal themed recital, western theme, around the world, and around the US. It was fun working on it, and I eventually did a seafaring theme because we liked the music so much. There is so much backlisted music that really, you can find about anything.
Posted by: xstitch4me

Re: Recital question - 09/13/04 08:42 AM

I had an idea I'm going to try this year. I'm going to give each student staff paper and have them write their own "song". Now, obviously with beginners it may be a one line one handed thing....but I think my advanced will love it. Then I'll try to have each one of them play their piece for the recital in May. Might be fun.
Posted by: playsteinway

Re: Recital question - 09/13/04 11:19 AM

I have done this before as a challenge project and then the kids played at a senior center for mothers day with their composed pieces, but I did'nt think of doing this for an actual recital program..It would be a good challenge for them to use what they learn in theory and playing and applying it to what they compose and would maybe help resolve some of the "jitters" some of mine have about being in front of others to perform. :0) thanks for the food for thought... the wheels are turning here....
Posted by: Arlene Steffen

Re: Recital question - 09/15/04 12:30 AM

In recitals that include a lot of beginning students, we often had the beginners play three pieces; one solo, one duet (with another student) and one of their own compositions. With these students, we didn't want them to write down their pieces because they often came up with much more interesting things if they didn't have to write them down. I'd encourage you to think about that if you are having them compose. There is plenty of time later for them to learn notation skills. Let them just enjoy creating what is in their imagination without getting bogged down by mechanics. I think you'll have a much more satisfactory result.