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WHAT FUN THINGS DO YOU SAY AT A RECITAL

Posted By: CarolR

WHAT FUN THINGS DO YOU SAY AT A RECITAL - 01/18/09 05:31 AM

I get up there and basically say the same thing - your kids are great, I really enjoy working with them, blah blah blah. Anyone have a really great recital intro??
Posted By: AZNpiano

Re: WHAT FUN THINGS DO YOU SAY AT A RECITAL - 01/18/09 07:08 AM

CONCERT ETIQUETTE!!!!!!!!!!

For many of the students' parents, they don't know better. I have to remind them to turn off their cell phones and refrain from talking during performances. Yet there will always be people yapping around when someone else's kid is playing. Such poor concert etiquette!!

One clueless father took his son and bolted out the door right after his son played. Then the next time I had to remind people to stay for the entire recital.

Our job is to teach. Sometimes parents need to be taught concert etiquette as much as their children do.

I also take the time to remind students to bow before and after playing, and to take their time adjusting their bench. Some kids get so nervous they forget to do all that.
Posted By: Sal_

Re: WHAT FUN THINGS DO YOU SAY AT A RECITAL - 01/18/09 07:38 AM

Before my last concert I pulled all the kids off to the side and asked, when they get up there, what's the first thing they do?

GET COMFORTABLE!

A shame not even 10 minutes later all of them seemed to have forgotten it.


Another shame my introduction was very lacking--not my forte. I'm working mentally on the next one already.
Posted By: Diane...

Re: WHAT FUN THINGS DO YOU SAY AT A RECITAL - 01/18/09 06:10 PM

Well, this sometimes helps to relax everyone. I'll say;

"Good evening everyone! I'm just very proud of my students for getting up and playing in a "strange" building, playing a "strange" piano, in front of "strange" people! And most of you do look "strange"! So smile, and enjoy the evening! Oh and feel free to take a minute and find a better seat if you'd like and let's get started!"
Posted By: Betty Patnude

Re: WHAT FUN THINGS DO YOU SAY AT A RECITAL - 01/19/09 11:54 AM

I have a 10 minutes "pep talk" before we walk into the sanctuary to sit together and begin the program.

I tell my students to make sure they give sincere compliments to others in the program and to say "Thank You" when complimented.

I also ask my students to write a message to me in my autography book. I jokingly say, "Don't even think of going to the refreshment table until you've done both of these things!"

And, I ask them to mark on the recital program which pieces they enjoyed and might want to play someday. And, mark the names of those who they want to compliment during social time.

I remind them about a final group bow, taking photos after the recital, and thanking their group of supporters who came to see and hear them play.

I tell them to smile outrageously and be aware of videos and cameras during the event because there are the making of our scrapbooks.

I remind them to take great bows and smile after playing their pieces - not to hurry when walking to and from the bench - and not to plop down and begin to play immediately - adjust the bench if needed - center to the piano - and don't jump off the bench when done. Do the "repose" thing and soak up being in the limelight.

It's hard to stop talking once started!

It's important to create some enthusiasm and present moment awareness.

I also say "We're all in this together!"
Posted By: Sal_

Re: WHAT FUN THINGS DO YOU SAY AT A RECITAL - 01/19/09 07:04 PM

Betty, all I asked of mine was that they get comfortable before starting to play, and they forgot.

How do yours remember all that?!
Posted By: Betty Patnude

Re: WHAT FUN THINGS DO YOU SAY AT A RECITAL - 01/20/09 12:11 AM

Many of the kids have heard it before and again and again as the "spiel" doesn't change that much. Sometimes it would be fun to put the older, experience kids in the preparation ("green room") to give the talk. I don't doubt some of them could have done it during their study with me, and a few of them could even have made a comedy act out of it.

Ten minutes before the event is the last opporunity to remind them to think positively, be in the present moment, and pay attention.

We also do deep breathing exercises sometimes to get a mind set of quietude before that march down the aisle.

I feel like a drill sargeant during this sometimes, or a college dorm mother, or the person who insists on their doing their best work today on this special occasion. Rise to the challenge! Have no regrets!

Good question Sal!
Posted By: AZNpiano

Re: WHAT FUN THINGS DO YOU SAY AT A RECITAL - 01/20/09 12:15 AM

Quote
Originally posted by Betty Patnude:
I also say "We're all in this together!"
Betty--

You are so full of awesome ideas, it's hard _not_ to steal an idea or two from you. As I reflect on my own teaching, I don't think I say stuff like that enough. I've been spending all my time training independent soloists. Students are trying to one-up each other at recitals.

You think like some of my public-school colleagues who spend weeks each September "building community" in their classroom. While I'd rather spend that time on instruction, there has to be some degree of community building so that the kids want to be there and want to work with each other.

It's just hard to translate that into piano.
Posted By: Betty Patnude

Re: WHAT FUN THINGS DO YOU SAY AT A RECITAL - 01/20/09 12:35 AM

I like your response AZNpiano!

There is an "insiders" vision going on, and the responsibility for everything to go well in a recital is each of the participants. They need to know what is expected and what they can do to help themselves cope with the demand of the day.

It's like turning the wind up key on saying "show me your talent" or "show me your confidence".

The community is the appeal - the results of the performance for the value and satisfaction of having presented a good program.

It all does matter.

Thanks for saying I'm full of "awesome ideas" - it has been a pretty amazing and creative experience in getting the recital on it's feet and moving. Trusting my experience, and being an "open kind of person", I deal with the "truths" I see during these 10 minutes and address as much as I can to make for enthusiasm, motivation, and confidence.

Building respect for the process is important. No one ever said it was easy to do, but a recital is just as much a teaching/learning opportunity as were all the lessons leading up to the performance.

You have excellant students and I'm sure they must be self competetive and like to be challenged to "win". Somehow we must also teach them to have respect and awareness about each and every contender. We don't win by belittling someone elses efforts or undermining others, we want really them all to be among the winner's circle of triumphs and confidence.

You can't do that in a vacuum.

Great to receive your special message!

Betty
Posted By: CarolR

Re: WHAT FUN THINGS DO YOU SAY AT A RECITAL - 01/26/09 12:47 AM

THanks for all of those great responses! I had my recital today. I took an idea from Betty (thanks Betty!) and ran with it. I took the recital program, edited it on my computer so I had a page for each student that said Winter Recital, studio name, date. etc.... and then only that student's pieces, composer, and their name, and left the rest of the page blank. I have just 13 students, so it was easy. In the reception area, I put all these pages out on a table, with a bunch of pens, and invited the kids to write comments about each other's performance. Parents could write, too. It gave the kids a post-recital focus, (along with the food), and made them have to think about the other performances and compliment the other students. Plus, now they have something to keep! The comments were very cute and supportive. It was a last minute idea and it worked really well. I'll copy each sheet and give them to the students this week, that is, after I add my own comments!

Carol
Posted By: musiclady

Re: WHAT FUN THINGS DO YOU SAY AT A RECITAL - 01/26/09 02:49 AM

I was thinking about having the students fill out a short survey and I share an interesting fact about the student, along with a little bit of information about the pieces they are playing if I find something. Like: one kid (now 8) though he said this when he was 6 when asked "Why do you practice?" and his response was: "Because I see myself getting better almost every day!" (he is doing RCM Grade 2 piano tomorrow and I think he will do a great job!) I once had a student who had the same birthday as I do, so I shared this with the audience. At the end there are door prizes and refreshments, though a couple of families have been really lucky over the years.

Meri
Posted By: MrsCamels

Re: WHAT FUN THINGS DO YOU SAY AT A RECITAL - 02/21/09 05:31 PM

CarolR - I love that idea! I'm stealing.

Betty - I'm very impressed that you can line your kids up for a group photo.

Wow - I have such a long way to go smile
Thanks for the ideas.
Posted By: John v.d.Brook

Re: WHAT FUN THINGS DO YOU SAY AT A RECITAL - 02/21/09 06:59 PM

Betty & all, thanks for taking the time to write out your thoughts.

This afternoon, I am subbing for our Teachers' Association's hostess, who is out with the flu, and I had started a list, and your ideas just made it all the better. Thanks.

FYI, we've got 52 students playing sonatinas and sonatas, spread over several recitals.
Posted By: Betty Patnude

Re: WHAT FUN THINGS DO YOU SAY AT A RECITAL - 02/21/09 07:36 PM

Wow, what an afternoon you have ahead! Enjoy!

Yes, the flu is going around here in Washington, don't catch it!

That's why we share our ideas, John, you never know when you need a new one!

Your chapter or guild must be thriving for so many participants, and so many sonatinas.

Do you video tape your recitals at the chapter?

I'm so glad posters found something of content in my postings here. I am a full believer that we have to make the occasion important and memorable to everyone.

Don't forget to "fluff" if recitals get long!

PS: I think with so many candidates in sonatinas there would be real interest in the CWU Sonatina Festival in Sept/Oct? in Ellensburg!

Betty
Posted By: funny fingers

Re: WHAT FUN THINGS DO YOU SAY AT A RECITAL - 02/22/09 03:36 AM

I also do the group photo, more for my scrapbook. My kids have come to expect it. They know they have to get that group photo taken before they can eat the recital cookies. It's amazing how many parents also take photos of the group. Before the recital begins, I get the kids together and remind them that piano is a team sport. We're all pulling for each other. As far as recital etiquette goes, a couple of weeks before the recital, I remind the kids that they need to teach their parents and friends about recital etiquette. I rarely have problems with my students. It's the adults that are a problem!

I love the autograph idea and CarolR's idea.
Posted By: lilylady

Re: WHAT FUN THINGS DO YOU SAY AT A RECITAL - 02/22/09 06:08 AM

Great idea Carol!

What are some of their cute comments to each other?

I would also speak to each and every student just before they went on stage to give encouragement or just a last minute reminder. You know...like the ice skating 'coach' does. laugh

We would have a few photoareas after the recital. Many wanted pictures with their friends, or sitting at the piano, or with their teacher! This was done while the refreshments were being put out.

Sometimes I would have students 'announce' the piece that they were to play. "Today I would like to play for you Sonatina in A# Minor by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Opus 23 no. 2. It was written in 1842 when Mozart was 15 years old" (or some such thing)! They always thought saying the opus was such an important thing! It is, right?

Or for a change, they might say something like, I am 9 yrs old and having been studying the piano since I was 7.

Part of what a recital is for, is to get them comfortable with sharing music and themselves. That way when they were to play an impromptu piece at someone's house, they were comfortable naming the piece before playing.

And of course the all important smile and gracious bow at the end.

What do you do when a student crashes?
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