Teaching Tips: The Ultimate Recital Survival Guide

music recitalWhether you’re a brand new music teacher planning your first recital or a seasoned veteran, you know music recitals are important to help your students learn to perform and share their talents. You probably also know (or you’re discovering) that putting on a recital is a lot of work!

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t fret; we’ve reached out to some of our expert TakeLessons teachers for their teaching tips on how to put on the best recital ever!

Logistics Once you’ve selected a venue (a local music store, school, or church are good choices), pick a day and make sure all your students know about the recital well in advance so their families can plan for it. Jennifer F. in Redlands, CA says, “I usually schedule recitals for Sunday afternoons; it seems to be the best day.” Sarah W. in Modesto, CA says, “I send out flyers to my students and parents telling them three months in advance to mark their calendars and then one more memo two weeks before the concert or recital. I give two a year, a Christmas concert and a spring recital.”

Performers Getting students ready for the recital is going to be the biggest part of your job! Jennifer recommends, “make sure they’ve known their song for at least a month.” Patti C. in Murrysville, PA writes, “I do a practice performance with my students during the last lesson or two before the recital. You could also gather all students at your studio or the recital venue for a practice performance (perfect chance for students to get to know each other).  I go over walking up to the piano, sitting down, placing music on the stand and taking a deep breath before beginning. Also how and why we bow while the audience is applauding. Performing in front of other students and/or parents gives them practice dealing with possible nerves.”

Patti also suggests having some of your students learn duets. “Parents love to see their children play and perform together, so it’s perfect to choose a duet for siblings. They have lots of time together between lessons to practice together and their lessons are usually back-to-back, so makes it easy to guide them and teach them how to play WITH someone. You could also introduce students to each other who don’t have siblings that play an instrument.”

Parents You don’t have to do everything yourself. Your students’ parents can be your biggest supporters. After all, they want the event to be successful just as much as you do. Don’t be shy in asking parents if they’d like to help! Sarah says before each music recital, ” I get my students’ parents to volunteer to help me set up.” Jennifer also relies on parents’ contributions for the reception following the recital. She says, “I highly suggest having a reception for students to meet and chat. This can be cheaply done if the teacher tells her students the recital is a potluck. Make sure parents bring snack foods, drinks and sweets.”

Teachers, do you have any other tips for putting on a great music recital? Share your advice in the comments!

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Using Audiation as a Key to Learning Music
The Lessons I’ve Learned from Teaching
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