6 Reasons to Have a Rehearsal For Your Studio Recital

 

It’s mid-April, and that means only one thing to music teachers:  Recital Season!

While you finalize your recital plans, work through logistics, and look for ways to make everything flow as smoothly as possible you might be asking yourself if you should have a rehearsal.

That’s a good question to ask.  And in my opinion, the exuberant answer is YES!  A hundred times yes!

I love having recital rehearsals for so many reasons, but here are six reasons why I appreciate rehearsals the most.

 

1  |  Early Preparation


6 Reasons to Have a Rehearsal for Your Studio Recital | The Music Blog


This one might just be the biggest.

A trying-to-put-the-last-page-hands-together-the-night-before-the-recital approach is never fun.  It’s usually not successful, either.  Early preparation is absolutely invaluable, and no amount of last minute cramming will make up for a lack of it.  If preparation is key, early preparation is a battering ram.

Having a rehearsal 2-3 weekends before your recital date sets a reasonable goal and an effective incentive for your students to have their pieces prepared and ready to perform well before the recital.  It helps them avoid procrastination and allows the few remaining weeks between the rehearsal and recital to be devoted to enhancing presentation, refining artistic details, and building confidence.

 

2  |  Working Though Logistical Kinks

Does the program flow?  Are there too many slow pieces in a row?  Did Johnny remember how to bow?  Does everyone know what they need to bring?  What time to arrive?

The rehearsal is a great time for you to see what logistical details need to be smoothed out between now and the recital (take notes!) and to make sure that everyone in the studio knows all of the important details for the recital night.  At the rehearsal you can hand the parents and students neatly-printed sheets with all the information pertinent to them or follow up the rehearsal with a concise email.  It’s also a great time to work through reception plans with your studio parents.  Now, THAT’S the fun part!

 

3  |  Discovering Hidden Weak Spots

Sometimes pieces that appeared solid during lessons suddenly become a bit shaky when performed “cold” for a roomful of people.   Because rehearsals have so many of the same dynamics as recitals (audience, formal performance only one time through, etc.) they help to reveal those hidden weak spots that don’t usually manifest themselves during practice time or regular lessons.

As teacher, you’ll have the opportunity to target those areas during the rehearsal…  And the best part is that you’ll have time to work through those spots with your students in the lessons between the rehearsal and the recital, find solutions, and get those sections in tip-top shape by recital time.

 

4  |  Confidence  

The rehearsal gives all of the students a chance to get familiar with the program and to practice everything that’s expected of them in an formal, recital setting.  Audience, bowing, applause, smiling, order of pieces, memory, seating arrangement, presentation…  it’s all there.  Repetition builds confidence, and knowing that they have “done this before” will give a huge boost to their confidence on recital night.

The rehearsal also gives your students the chance to find out if there is anything they’re unclear about relating to the recital.  Talking over these things with them (and their parents!) will ease their minds and help to prevent confusion come performance time.

6 Reasons to Have a Recital Rehearsal | The Music Blog
2008 – Some of my students performing their violin ensemble during rehearsal.

5  |  Parental Involvement

Ideally, your studio parents are involved all semester and not just during recital season.  But if not, the recital rehearsal is a perfect time to help them get connected!

For your student, having a parent physically present at the rehearsal can go a long way in making them more focused during preparation and more confident once performing under pressure.  Most parents are excited to come – it’s a great opportunity for them to see how their child is handling preparation for their upcoming performance, and it’s also a perfect time for them to talk with you to find out how they can help their students maintain confidence and overcome weak spots between the rehearsal and the recital night.  Plus, they get a fun sneak peak at the recital program!

Ask that at least one parent per student attend the rehearsal to hear the performances.  Encourage your parents by reminding them how invaluable their verbal encouragement and physical presence really is to their student and to you.

 

6  |  Camaraderie

Students are usually too preoccupied on recital night to make new friends, but rehearsals lend the perfect atmosphere for them to connect with other students in the studio, mingle, and develop friendships.

Never underestimate this one!  When students relate to each other like they’re “in this together” instead of like fierce competitors trying to see who can come out on top, charming things happen.

I have had so much fun watching friendships develop between my students.  At rehearsals, I hear them chattering about the upcoming recital – what they’re looking forward to, whether or not they’re nervous yet, and a host of other little excitements and woes.  At recitals, I see them huddled on rows together giving each other pep talks, encouraging speeches, and comforting hugs.  Just the sort of thing to make a teacher’s heart melt into pudding.

So actively encourage camaraderie between your students.  Rehearsals are a perfect place to start!

6 Reasons to Have a Recital Rehearsal | The Music Blog.jpg
2013 – Four of my little Texas students having a right jolly time together after rehearsal.

 

BONUS  |  Group Pictures!

If you’re planning to put a group picture in the printed recital program, the rehearsal is the ideal time to take it!  I usually pick a color theme and request that the students wear it to the rehearsal so everyone is matching.  They love it!


6 Reasons to Have a #Rehearsal for Your #Studio #Recital | The Music Blog.  www.sfzmusicblog.com  #music #studio #teaching #piano #tipsIF YOU HAVEN’T had a rehearsal for your recitals before, give it a shot!  It doesn’t have to be complicated.  It can just be on a Saturday afternoon in your home or studio – short, sweet, and oh-so-effective!

It lifts a huge amount of pressure from the recital evening and provides a great comfort cushion for both you and your students.

If you decide to try it out, let me know how it goes!

Happy recital planning, friends!

 

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How to Get a Bigger Audience for Your Next Studio Recital


\The Music Blog | How to Get a Bigger Audience for Your Next Studio Recital

Studio Recitals are important!  They give your students the opportunity to share their hard work with others, and they create some of the most rewarding memories you’ll ever make as a teacher.  I love them!

But it can be disheartening to pour everything you’ve got into preparing yourself and your students for your recital only to have a handful of people show up.

Here are are few things you can do to share the excitement with guests and fill those empty seats at your next studio recital!

 

Pick Your Date Early. 


The Music Blog | How to Get a Bigger Audience for Your Studio RecitalsHave your date, time, and location finalized and on the books at least two months in advance.  Few guests will take an invitation to a “tentative” recital seriously no matter how far in advance, and even fewer people will be able to make room in their schedules when they hear, “Hey, by the way, I have a recital next week!  Want to come?”    Waiting until the last wire to finalize plans is unprofessional…  Plus, it makes it nearly impossible to assemble a good audience.

Planning ahead is key to a relaxed evening for you and your students, a well-done event, and a large audience. 

 

Make Sure Your Students Are Confident.


Most of our students will not inspire themselves to invite a list of guests.  There are definitely exceptions, but students are often timid about inviting friends because they are nervous or lack confidence in their own performance. As teachers, we are responsible for making sure our students are prepared and for building their confidence.  (I hope to write a full post on this topic soon!)

So, encourage them!  Talk to them about their fears, remind them of their strengths, and help them realize that their family and friends will be at the recital to cheer them on, not count their mistakes.  Tell them that you enjoy hearing them play and that their guests will, too.  Your encouragement will make a more confident performer and a more enthusiastic guest-inviter!

 

Ask Your Students if They Have Invited Guests


Sometimes students are so wrapped up in thinking about their performance that they forget to invite guests and need to be reminded.

Repeatedly.

Start asking a month in advance if they’ve invited anyone yet, then keep asking, smiling, and encouraging them every week until recital time!

 

Ask Your Student’s Parent to Help


It may seem like a given, but many parents don’t actually think about inviting guests until you ask.  And once you mention it, they love the idea.

So get them calling up the aunts, cousins, grandparents, and friends, and you’ll have a full house before you know it!

 

Invite People Yourself!


Remember, your studio recital isn’t just about your students – it’s also a showcase of what you have accomplished through your students, and many of your family and friends would love to see how you have been investing your time.

So take a few minutes to look through your email contacts, social media connections, and old-fashioned address book, and let your friends and family know about your recital.  Don’t be hesitant – you will probably be surprised at how many of them are interested in coming!

If you’re unsure about who to invite, start with your extended family and close friends, and branch out from there.

 

Mail or Hand Out Invitations.

 

The Music Blog | How to Get a Bigger Audience for Your Studio RecitalsMail or hand out small invitations as a follow-up after you’ve personally told your friends about your recital.  This is a perfect way to help those well-meaning friends who wanted to come to your recital but quite simply forgot.

The invitation doesn’t need to be extravagant – a simple, decorative, one-sided sheet works perfectly.  Include the title – ‘Spring Recital’, etc. – date, time, location, your email or phone number, and a very brief paragraph or sentence inviting them to attend.

Physical invitations are more memorable than email invitations (which get lost in the inbox), and many of your guests will appreciate having one place where they can reference all the details at a glance.   Besides, everyone loves getting invitations…  They’re just plain fun!

 

Perform!


That’s right.  Consider performing at the end of the program!

It does NOT need to be your most recent or most complicated piece, but an engaging, well-done performance will delight your guests and be just one more reason for them to come.  Plus, it will motivate your students and encourage their parents.

[box style=”white” ]KEEP IN MIND…  Performing does require an extra measure of personal preparation beforehand and concentration on the night of the recital.  Remember, your first duty is to your students, so if performing means you won’t be able to give them the full attention they need, then don’t do it.[/box] 

Have a Nice Reception.


Why this one?  Two simple reasons:  1. People love food.  2. People love to visit.

So, first, make sure there is plenty of food.  Put some thought into the reception, and make it nice!  It doesn’t need to be candle-light-cloth-napkin-three-course-meal kind of nice, but it does need to be more than store-bought-cookies-out-of-a-plastic-container kind of nice.  Ask each of your students’ parents to bring something sweet or savory, and have fun bringing a number of treats yourself!

The Music Blog | How to Get a Bigger Audience for Your Studio Recitals

Second, make sure there is plenty of time to mingle.  Guests will be more eager to come if they know they will be able to visit awhile with their little musicians instead of having to leave the building as soon as the performances are over.  Besides, some of the most encouraging, motivating memories for students come from their recital receptions when they are praised by their family, friends, and strangers on a performance well done.  Allow plenty of time for you, your students, and your guests to mingle, visit, and make memories!

 

Pay Attention to Detail.


This one is important whether you have a huge crowd or just a handful of close friends.

BUT… it will set your recitals apart and help your audience grow from one recital to the next.

Remember, most people have dire impressions of music recitals and dread the thought of going to one.  Why?  Because so many recitals are scraped together at the last minute, they start late, the kids bumble through their pieces, there’s no program, you hear the same piece 5 times in a row, and the teacher looks frantic the entire time. Simply put, they’re unprofessional. This does not need to be you!

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The Music Blog | How to Get a Bigger Audience for Your Studio Recitals

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Instead,
Select repertoire that is interesting and widely varied.
Print a lovely program.
Add a vase of flowers and tufts of greenery to the reception tables.
Be organized.
Smile.
Take extra time to prepare your mind and think through what you’re going to say so you will be relaxed and confident on the recital evening.
Make sure all of your students know how to bow and smile.
Be a gracious host.
Have a dress code for your students.
Talk to your guests and thank them individually for coming.
Enjoy your evening, and help everyone else to enjoy theirs.
And, by all means…  make sure there are lots of tasty treats at the reception!

 

Make your recital evening memorable, and your audience will want to attend again!


The Music Blog | How to Get a Bigger Audience for Your Studio Recitals

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Recitals are a lot of work, but they’re worth every. single. bit. of it.

So, relax, plan ahead, make memories, and put your very best effort into creating a professional, well-done night of music.

And don’t forget to tell your guests that you hope to see them again at the next recital!

Have any other tips?  Share them in the comments!

How to Get a Bigger #Audience for Your Next Studio Recital | The Music Blog. www.sfzMusicBlog.com #music #studio #recital #tips #teaching #piano

 

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