How many recitals to hold?

Posted by: James Weinberg

How many recitals to hold? - 12/08/15 02:20 AM

For 15 years I've held two annual recitals, one at the end of each school semester. For the first time, I'm considering dropping the fall recital and would like to hear from anyone who has done the same...or just general opinions.

One reason for exploring this route is that this time of year is so hectic. Kids are already stretched to the limit with end of term school work and tests. Many also have dance performances or recitals for voice or other instruments. Many have church programs and choir concerts. Add to that the general rush of Christmas shopping and parties and you've got families burning their candles at both ends. Do they really need the additional activity of a fall/winter recital?

I know recitals are useful in setting goals, but perhaps having just one a year in May would still serve that purpose. Also, with fall break in October and then Thanksgiving holidays, my students don't seem to have enough continuity of practice to prepare for a December performance. There are fewer interruptions leading up to a spring recital. What do you all think?
Posted by: James Weinberg

Re: How many recitals to hold? - 12/09/15 01:49 PM

26 views and not one comment? C'mon!
Posted by: James Weinberg

Re: How many recitals to hold? - 12/09/15 11:27 PM

58 views and not one comment. I'm going to the PianoWorld forums.
Posted by: debilynn

Re: How many recitals to hold? - 12/10/15 08:57 PM

Have you thought of asking your parents and students for their feedback? That is probably the first place you need to go with your questions.

I have found my families to be most helpful in guiding me with the direction I want or need to go with issues, events, etc.

Good luck!

BTW: I do three! October, Dec, and May! My families requested the December event. Ask! It will be interesting to hear what you discover.
Posted by: EllaCat

Re: How many recitals to hold? - 12/11/15 02:36 PM

I do two recitals a year - in December, and in May/June. I find the May/June is just as bad for people being busy, due to end-of-school wrap-up activities, etc.

I like debilynn's idea of polling your parents/students.
Posted by: shannonspiano

Re: How many recitals to hold? - 12/11/15 02:39 PM

I don't usually hold formal recitals, tonight however is the studio Christmas Party... where students are the background music. IF I do a Spring recital it's held in April. May is too busy with gradations, and school activities. My group lessons are about every 6 weeks and each student prepares a song to share with the other students. My last group lesson included a drummer and guitar accompanying the students, and parents were invited to sit in on that part.
Posted by: wearenow5

Re: How many recitals to hold? - 12/30/15 04:43 PM

I do two a year (May and December). I was going to cut out the December one as, like you, I found it was too busy for everyone and I thought parents would be relieved. I polled the parents (I have 30 students) and the unanimous response was to keep both recitals. Most even offered to help pay for the building I rent, if that helped.
Posted by: panoplr

Re: How many recitals to hold? - 01/01/16 10:48 PM

For the first time this year, I held my Christmas recital the Monday before Christmas - Dec. 20th. School was out, most of the other Christmas performances/parties were done, so it seemed like a good idea. And it was, according to my piano parents. They definitely want me to do it again next year, same time.
Posted by: Lindsay B

Re: How many recitals to hold? - 01/08/16 02:44 PM

I teach as part of a larger academy with several teachers working together, so this might not apply if you have a smaller studio, but we have 4 recitals/year. Students perform only when they're prepared (memorized and polished). Most of them only perform twice a year, but it gives us more flexibility to take a little longer on a difficult piece or if something unexpected comes up. I let the parents know when recitals are, and usually they encourage their kids to prepare for recitals - I rarely have to worry about a student not moving forward with their recital piece(s). Beginner students with shorter pieces or highly motivated older students can and do perform at all 4 recitals.

We usually hold them in February, early May, July, and November. Not traditional times but that helps avoid the craziness of holidays, etc. and if a student isn't ready for one recital, we just plan to do the next.
Posted by: ewoodward

Re: How many recitals to hold? - 01/13/16 10:15 AM

This was a question I pondered for quite some time as well!

I am only in my 3rd year of teaching so to begin, I decided on one end-of-year recital (called our "Student Showcase"). This year, I decided to take the plunge and try out a Christmas recital despite my studio families' (and my own) crazy schedules. This was very much a trial and as such, I was sure not to promote it as an annual event.

On Friday, December 11, we had a Christmas Coffeehouse recital where students played while everyone sat at round tables with treats and such. Students were not required to memorize their pieces for this event. While I had a few not attend/leave early, attendance was wonderful and the event was an overwhelming success.

It was an enormous amount of work with set up/decorating/refreshments on top of the usual recital prep but it was amazing to see everyone dressed up, full of holiday cheer and as usual, emanating pride from watching the students perform.

I am fairly certain that 2 recitals will be the new norm for our studio - the key for us was to keep it fresh, exciting and laid-back/encouraging.

Hope this helps!
Posted by: Teachalot

Re: How many recitals to hold? - 01/17/16 09:30 AM

I do a Halloween recital every other year and a spring recital every year.
Posted by: Leigh

Re: How many recitals to hold? - 01/22/16 10:54 AM

I hold three performance events a year:

The Halloween Party, where the students perform for each other, no other audience

The Holiday Mini-Recitals, where family and friends are invited to the last lesson before the Christmas break, to hear the student and me play Christmas duets, followed by punch and cookies

The Spring Recital, all students play for the "big audience," with a reception following.

I think of the events as leading up to the big recital. First they play for other students, then for family/friends, then for a room full of strangers.
Posted by: ape130

Re: How many recitals to hold? - 03/04/16 12:24 PM

I do one formal recital every year in May, held at a local arts center that has a baby grand, spotlight, mini stage, it's a lot of fun. I have parent's help pay for the rental.

The rest of the year I have several informal recitals, usually 3 more and they are always at either an assisted living, or nursing home. It's been really nice to give the students opportunity to share with the community, and for those recitals they don't need to memorize if they don't want.

For Christmas we do it at assisted living but often I'll incorporate a few other special things, like a student/guitar duet, a vocal performance by a mom, or the students playing hand bells.