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#963150 - 12/26/04 12:22 PM recital ideas
cantabile Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/19/04
Posts: 20
Loc: ontario
I would like some ideas on how to get the audience of mothers, fathers, grandparents, etc participating in a piano recital. They tend to get fidgety after listening to piano solos for an hour. Half way through the recital would be a good time to get them actively involved. An idea I had for a Valentine recital was for the students to sing a song with the word 'love' in it and as they sing this word the audience has to immediately stand up and then sit again (gets them active). Another one was "little Peter Rabbit has a fly upon his hand etc.etc. but with each verse sung the last word of the sentence has to be sung silently, resulting in at the end the whole verse is mimed. If they sing the required 'silent' word they have to sit down. (all stand at the bginning). Any ideas would be appreciated. If there are any Music for Young Children teachers out there I'm sure you have a wealth of ideas. Thanks.

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#963151 - 12/26/04 04:28 PM Re: recital ideas
Ann Marie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 98
Loc: Maryland
After teaching piano for the past 20 years, and supervising at least 4 times that many recitals, I would suggest to you that a one hour recital might be too long, especially when you have young children performing and in the audience. And it is hard on the students at the end of the program as well, waiting for their turn. 45-50 minutes seems just about right, with 14-18 students performing at each, playing a solo and a duet with another student if possible. I have three recitals scheduled on one day to accomodate all of my students with a short reception after each one. You might eliminate all the fidgeting with a shorter program.

As far as interrupting the flow of the concert with an activity, I am not sure that it would be anything most adults would want to participate in unless the bulk of your students are very young. Otherwise, you would have the seniors stuggling to get up, the younger ones taking it as an excuse to run around, and everyone else talking. You also have the students who have yet to play waiting and perhaps growing a little anxious as time goes on. Finally, you would have to get the whole group seated and quiet before you could proceed. I think it would detract from the formal nature of the event.

#963152 - 12/26/04 07:09 PM Re: recital ideas
Candywoman Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 1047
Good points Ann Marie. I have tried to get everybody doing the hokey pokey in the middle with no success. I have tried to have people answer general questions such as "Why do we have recitals?" No success. People don't want to participate other than by listening. So... I have several duets interspersed, several students playing popular pieces that everybody wishes they owned/played, and at the end I do something unusual such as sing or act in a play or do a difficult duet with an advanced student. The program has to be interesting and preferably one hour long.

#963153 - 12/27/04 01:51 PM Re: recital ideas
cranky woman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 282
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
I'll have to agree with Ann Marie and Candyman. Your recital length may be too long for the ages of your students. Many of my students families would struggle with the activities that you describe. My teen students would "die" to be asked to do the hokey pokey! But my younger ones would enjoy it.....the parents, I doubt, would go for it. I limit my recitals to no longer than one hour, preferably 45 min.

Here's a fun idea I do every year. In Aug. I begin with a composition contest. Each student is expected to compose a piece for the Halloween recital. (If they don't celebrate Halloween, they compose a Fall piece) We begin the composition process the last week of Aug. so that the students have an entire month to work on their compositions.

I have them turn them in to me the first week of Oct., then they have a month to make their compositions recital ready. The recital is set at the end of Oct. close to Halloween and all the students dress in costume to perform. Many times, they dress to match their pieces. All students, beginning to early advanced are expected to participate, and they all seem to enjoy it.

The compositions are always so interesting! And I find out what they are lacking in as they compose......the composition process is such a great learning tool.

I've also held ensemble recitals where each student performs a duet or concerto. There are some wonderful beginning and intermediate concertos out there!

I hold at least 4 recitals a year (and offer other performance experiences through my local MTNA chapter) so that performing is second nature. The more students perform , the less likely they are to have performance anxiety.

Hope this is helpful!

cranky \:D

#963154 - 12/27/04 02:42 PM Re: recital ideas
cantabile Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/19/04
Posts: 20
Loc: ontario
Thankyou Ann Marie, Candyman and Cranky woman for your input. However, I have done with an audience "my name is o and I live in a button factory" etc. where the audience has to participate with pre-determined rhythms, supporting a story. I perform the story and they perform their rhythm from a large piece of cardboard held up by one of my students. This was alot of fun. The audience has always been very well behaved perhaps for two reasons. I know them all (small community) and also we hold the recital in the church sanctuary which creates a very calm effect. I concur that one hour is plenty long enough and usually I have done duets and trios in order to keep the recital shorter. However for this Valentine's concert, time is an issue and duets and trios take quite a bit of coordinating and more practice time needed. I reserve these for end of year recitals. Another idea that came to mind was to print rhythms on the program. I send a program home with the students with a rhythm printed on it. About 6 different rhythms in all.(one on each program). Their participation could be that they have to recognize their particular rhythm when clapped(by a student in front), they stand up and all clap that particular rhythm. And then the next rhythm is clapped or played on a percussion instrument, and then those having that rhythm on their program do likewise. Just a bee in my bonnet....may materialize into something. any comments and suggestions are much appreciated.

#963155 - 01/21/05 05:48 PM Re: recital ideas
Jerry A. Greene Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/20/05
Posts: 111
Loc: San Antonio,TX USA
Good evening,

You may want to have a "guest composer", or something. Give the kids a chance to listen to new music and a chance to actually talk with a LIVING composer.

In college, it is common for that type of thing to be done every so often. It also brings about a sense of inspiration!

I have done things like that, myself and have had nice results.

Have a great night,
Jerry A. Greene
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#963156 - 01/23/05 01:48 PM Re: recital ideas
Cindysphinx Offline

Registered: 02/14/03
Posts: 6416
Loc: Washington D.C. Metro
Warning: I am not a music teacher. I am an adult music student who performs at recital and the parent of music students who perform at recital. My input might not be especially helpful, but here it is anyway . . .

My take on it is that what the recital audience really wants is to see little Sally or Jimmy perform. After that, they want things to move along quickly so they can go home.

The only studio recitals with which I am familar have been quite lengthy due to the large number of performers. Two hours plus is not unusual. The studio handles this by breaking the recital into chunks. The youngest and least proficient performers go first, and this lasts 30-45 minutes. Then there is an intermission where everyone has snacks (donated by parents).

Then the next group of intermediate performers will perform, and the younger kids can go home or stick around if they want and can behave. Another intermission, and it is time for the advanced performers to take the stage.

Maybe you can try doing an intermission rather than an activity? JMHO . . .
Vote For Cindy!!


#963157 - 02/08/05 05:40 AM Re: recital ideas
cantabile Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/19/04
Posts: 20
Loc: ontario
Thankyou all so much for your input to my question re recital ideas. Certainly good suggestions and food for thought. Recital is this Sunday Feb 13. I have decided just to let the students perform without any other involvement. I'm thinking this might be a bit boring but like you say cindysphynx, the parents are anxious to get the recital moving so they can go home.

#963158 - 02/10/05 03:38 PM Re: recital ideas
DeutcheGramophon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/10/05
Posts: 44
Loc: Macedonia
Try to play some ALLEGRO or VIVACE more. \:\)


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