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#2523744 03/22/16 11:23 PM
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I'd like to pick your brains regarding length of recitals.

How long is too long?

Is an intermission appropriate? I fear that parents of students who play in the first half might leave at intermission.

I'm guessing that most of you have more students than I do, so you likely have some good options I haven't thought of.

I've thought of holding two recitals and also replacing formal recitals with smaller, more frequent performances at nursing homes.

Thank you

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Mrs. Akers #2523755 03/23/16 01:29 AM
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45 minutes to 50 minutes is plenty. Anything longer than that you'd need an intermission, especially if you have little ones who are fidgety.

A good way to make kids sit still is to line them up in a row, and program them so that the kids who sit right next to each other don't really know each other.

I've learned over the years which kids are the really fidgety ones, and I stopped inviting them to recitals.


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Mrs. Akers #2524040 03/23/16 10:34 PM
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Depends on how many student you have. One of my teacher has about 50 students in total. Her recital is always about three hours long. She separate the three hours in two session with intermission. The people who played in first session does have to stay at second session. The people who are playing for the second session does not have to come early. My other teacher is in a music school which has about more than 200 students. They always have three consecutive Sunday' for the recital. Each Sunday will have three one hour session. Each one only require to stay in one session. I generally like to go to all the sessions. I love to listen to all even those beginners playing. I never get bored. If I had the chance to study when I was a kid, I am so becoming a piano teacher cause I simply love it.


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Mrs. Akers, how many students will participate? I usually have 25 participants, however the beginners and young ones are usually at the start of the "show" and their pieces are short in length. I do not have intermissions, since that will only encourage people to leave early or come in for the second half. Generally, the performances are over in an hour and a half. It hasn't been a problem yet.


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Mrs. Akers #2524201 03/24/16 12:09 PM
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If it is more than an hour, I get fidgety and my brain checks out. If it's 2 hours you need a 15-20 minute intermission and expect your first half performers to leave. You can ask them to stay but usually they don't.

Our studio did 2 recitals a year ago. It was the best recital! 45 minutes and we were DONE. It was perfect. No one gets bored, antsy or loud and all performers get an audience who is paying attention. But this year they went back to one recital. Two is more work for the studio.

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We will have about 30 students. Some study both piano and violin, so they perform two pieces. We have a few duets, which takes care of two students in one number. We also present a few rhythm ensemble selections.

Mrs. Akers #2524379 03/24/16 09:02 PM
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I am not favor of intermission because as many of you said people may leave during intermission. I would prefer if the recital is only 45 minutes long. If you need, then do two 45 minutes recital for your 35 students. I done that before. It is short and pleasant!


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Originally Posted by chasingrainbows
I do not have intermissions, since that will only encourage people to leave early or come in for the second half.

How rude!

I used to have a problem with those rude families. I took note of which ones have the tendency to bail early or arrive late, and they are no longer invited to recitals.

My MTAC branch has the same problem with people leaving in the middle of a festival. It is extremely rude and disruptive. Some teachers never bother to train these offending parents.


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Mrs. Akers #2524452 03/25/16 06:44 AM
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I see my annual student recital not only as the occasion for every student to perform and show what he or she has learned throughout the year. I also see it as an opportunity for the students to listen to each other which on one hand can be very motivating and on the other hand helps to build an actual class where all the students know each other. I make it clear that in general, they are meant to attend the whole concert - of course, sometimes they need to leave early, which is an exception.

I don't see much sense in not inviting 'rude' families to recitals, as in my opinion, recitals should be open for all students. Wouldn't it be better to try to make those families understand the importance of attending a recital in full length?

If there's an intermission depends on the number of students performing. I have made great experiences with offering drinks and cakes (usually, every family brings something, which makes a nice buffet). So, most families stay, and I like that they have time to talk to each other.


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Mrs. Akers #2524469 03/25/16 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Mrs. Akers
We will have about 30 students.


30 students, wow. If they can get from seat to piano in 30 seconds, and same for return, you've spent 30 minutes just moving. Then if they all play a 1 minute piece, you're at an hour.


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People who get up and leave during a 60-70 minute recital because their little darling has already played are indeed rude, though many of them haven't a clue why "we" think it's rude behavior. You combat that by giving all families clear instructions about behavior at recitals (behavior by the student and by the parents).

On the other hand, if you have a large studio that is eclectic in student levels I see no problem with breaking the group into two components separated by a clear intermission. You can suggest to the parents of younger students that seeing the older and more advanced students play might be useful. And you can encourage the older students to be present at the earlier session if they wish (and they probably will, if they have younger siblings). But with a clear intermission and a clear delineation between more beginner and more advanced students, you can essentially bunch two recitals together. This is a way to go if you have enough students that a single recital would be too long for many of the young ones to sit through.

pianomouse #2524507 03/25/16 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by pianomouse
I see my annual student recital not only as the occasion for every student to perform and show what he or she has learned throughout the year. I also see it as an opportunity for the students to listen to each other which on one hand can be very motivating and on the other hand helps to build an actual class where all the students know each other. I make it clear that in general, they are meant to attend the whole concert - of course, sometimes they need to leave early, which is an exception.

I don't see much sense in not inviting 'rude' families to recitals, as in my opinion, recitals should be open for all students. Wouldn't it be better to try to make those families understand the importance of attending a recital in full length?

If there's an intermission depends on the number of students performing. I have made great experiences with offering drinks and cakes (usually, every family brings something, which makes a nice buffet). So, most families stay, and I like that they have time to talk to each other.


pianomouse, I also provide the opportunity for picture taking, refreshments, etc. I encourage my students to follow the program, and discuss at the next lesson any songs they've heard at the recital that they may want to learn. I provide emails before every recital, outlining recital "etiquette" and emphasize the importance of staying for the entire performance, since every performer deserves a full audience. I've had parents offer to "man" the door so people don't sneak out, however, the same culprits come late, and leave shortly after their child has played. At some point, those people, IMO, should not be included, since they have no interest in respecting general etiquette.


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Originally Posted by Piano*Dad
People who get up and leave during a 60-70 minute recital because their little darling has already played are indeed rude, though many of them haven't a clue why "we" think it's rude behavior. You combat that by giving all families clear instructions about behavior at recitals (behavior by the student and by the parents).

These are repeat offenders who have been told multiple times what is the proper recital etiquette. They "choose" not to follow the proper recital etiquette.


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At some point, if you get fed up with these repeat offenders you can give them their release papers.

I have been at recitals where some students had to leave in order to attend other events. The teacher in charge of running the recital would make a little announcement explaining that so-and-so needed to be at an orchestra performance, and would be playing first as a result. That marked the departure as both special and prearranged. These students were invariably advanced musicians. Always interesting to have some big piece played first, followed by Twinkle Twinkle Little Star ... grin


Mrs. Akers #2524681 03/25/16 11:08 PM
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I doubt it makes much difference to the others if the person exiting had something important to attend or just wanted to leave.

As long as most people stay, isn't that good enough? Why should you need a reason to leave? Maybe you can't leave grandmother alone at home too long; maybe somebody's tired and needs more down time. Maybe your quota of sonatinas has been met and it's a boring program.

Why judge these people? It's not an endurance competition. It could be all they could do to come to the recital.


Candywoman #2525513 03/28/16 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Candywoman
I doubt it makes much difference to the others if the person exiting had something important to attend or just wanted to leave.

As long as most people stay, isn't that good enough? Why should you need a reason to leave? Maybe you can't leave grandmother alone at home too long; maybe somebody's tired and needs more down time. Maybe your quota of sonatinas has been met and it's a boring program.

Why judge these people? It's not an endurance competition. It could be all they could do to come to the recital.



If there were no etiquette rules regarding recitals, I'm fairly certain that everyone would leave after their little darling performed. Unfortunately, in these times, people will often do what they want, even when rules are in place. I can't imagine what recitals or any event for that matter would be like, if there were not some general rules of conduct in place. Just my opinion.


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Mrs. Akers #2525523 03/28/16 09:48 PM
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One goes to recitals to support one's child and all the other students. If you just want to hear your own kid perform you can hear that any day of the week at home. Isn't that obvious?
It's hard for me to imagine any piano parent being willing to teach their child that they shouldn't value the accomplishments of others... which is what walking out of a recital midway through teaches the child...

(We do sometimes have parents who ask ahead of time about outside issues that require them to arrive late or leave early. I try to be accommodating and put them where they need to be on the program. I don't see that as the same thing as just randomly leaving early. It happens sometimes but not often. Also, I've once or twice had to leave a recital early when at a festival and trying to catch multiple students playing at the same time in different rooms. I don't think that's the same thing either though I felt very embarrassed.)


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Originally Posted by chasingrainbows

If there were no etiquette rules regarding recitals, I'm fairly certain that everyone would leave after their little darling performed. Unfortunately, in these times, people will often do what they want, even when rules are in place.


I've never had rules of conduct and yet most everybody stays to the end. I never ask people to be quiet during the recital and yet they are quiet. I don't enforce any sort of a dress code. I only ask that people come ten minutes early and they usually do.

My point is you can trust most people to behave well most of the time. Some people whom you've taught have been difficult and rude. But writing notes hasn't changed them. Doesn't that prove that notes are unnecessary and probably annoying for the majority of your parents?

I once surveyed a room in a home for the purpose of renting it when I was at university. The lady of the house opened a closet door, and proceeded to show me a long list of rules I would have to live by taped on that door. (No drugs, no overnight guests, etc.) I had only to see the list and I headed in the opposite direction. The funny thing is I was exactly the type of good house guest she wanted. I bet you she ended up with some guy who felt like challenging all her rules. Rules can encourage rebellion in some people.




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Originally Posted by hreichgott
One goes to recitals to support one's child and all the other students. If you just want to hear your own kid perform you can hear that any day of the week at home. Isn't that obvious?
It's hard for me to imagine any piano parent being willing to teach their child that they shouldn't value the accomplishments of others... which is what walking out of a recital midway through teaches the child...

Common sense isn't so common!!

Of course there are emergencies and special circumstances. I once observed a very reputable colleague having a recital on Saturday, and two of her younger students came wearing their soccer outfit. They played, and left. It was obvious that they had other commitments.

But the rude people are those who just don't care about other people.


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Originally Posted by Candywoman
[quote=chasingrainbows]

Some people whom you've taught have been difficult and rude. But writing notes hasn't changed them. Doesn't that prove that notes are unnecessary and probably annoying for the majority of your parents?



I'm not quite sure how you've come to that conclusion--it's not true at all. I've dropped students who were disrespectful of my policy, and a few dropped out of lessons when I've addressed such issues as no shows, lack of practice, not bringing their music to lessons, etc. Because of my upbringing and education, these common sense issues were not a problem when I was a music student. There are also language barriers and cultural differences that may come into play that are at the root of some of issues I've had to deal with. To meet those differences, I am very clear in my meet and greet (and they always sign up with me, despite the "rules"), I provide a written policy and follow up with emails once or 2x a year if a reminder is in order. Without policies in place, running a studio would be chaotic..


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