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!