Hello, fellow piano teachers! I realize that I am posting a little later than usual this week, but I am still in the process of tying up loose ends from yesterday afternoon’s recital. All in all, it was a huge success! Students performed well in the main auditorium on campus, student teachers rose to the occasion and handled their individual students well, and parents were appreciative and responsive. What more can we ask for?
So here are the basic details of the event. The Academy of Fine Arts at Wayland Baptist currently has 5 piano studios as well as a thriving guitar studio. Students were given the opportunity to perform yesterday and costumes were welcome. Four of the six studios were represented yesterday with a total of 20 students playing. (For those interested, nine of the students and one teacher appeared in costume for the event.) The entire event — including the group photos at the end — took just over an hour and no one had a major meltdown or came remotely close to the large open orchestra pit.
This year, I decided to involve the audience in the proceedings and create memory books for each performer. They turned out MUCH BETTER than I could have ever hoped! The more crafty among you will definitely see that there is room for improvement, but this is what I came up with for my first attempt at this recital gift.
The cover was printed on card stock and everything was connected with book rings. On the inside of the cover, I pasted the student’s portion of the program and included a snapshot (4×6) that was snapped by a student worker during their performance.
The bulk of the memory book consisted of compliment cards. These were a HIT with parents and I think the students are going to respond to them positively as well. Prior to the recital, I printed labels with each student’s name and attached it to a blank 4×6 index card. With 20 students on program, I made 7 complete sets — one card for each performer — as well as 4 additional sets for the teachers. The 7 sets of cards were divided into three sets. The first pack featured performers 1, 4, 7, etc. The goal was that there would be 2 performances separating the students that each audience member was writing about. (Teachers wrote notes for EVERY STUDENT on the program.) This meant that every student should receive AT LEAST 11 compliment cards based on their performance.
As parents and family arrived, I explained the idea of writing compliments for students in their package. I also encouraged them to take a couple of blank cards in case their student wasn’t included in their packet OR if they were really impressed with someone’s playing and wanted to compliment them as well. I was amazed to see how their eyes lit up when they were given the opportunity to be involved. The compliments that the students received were AMAZING and really made this something I think will be treasured for many years ahead.
The memory book concludes with another 4×6 picture — the group picture of all the students who performed and their teachers. Hugely successful event! Now….I’ll start dreaming up plans for the Spring recital.