Recitals are a terrific way to showcase your students’ talents. Practicing for and performing in recitals certainly helps students mature musically and professionally. And it is great for their confidence when they are celebrated by family and friends. However, there are plenty of other ways to celebrate your students and give them performing opportunities, too. Here are a few great projects to try in your studio.
Write and record a CD. I tried this in my studio, and it was a fun project all around. Since recording someone else’s music can get into sticky copyright situations, all the students wrote their own songs appropriate to their playing level. After the songs were completed, we recorded them using my keyboard and computer, and I burned each student a copy. It was a great learning experience for all of us (me included!) and the students had a neat prize to play for their families and friends.
Nursing homes. Play Christmas songs for a nursing home. This is a nice way to give back to the community. Nursing homes love when young faces come to visit. Of course, you’ll need parental support, but it is fun to take a gaggle of students and have them showcase their abilities for an excited audience.
Church music. Have advanced students play in their home church. I love to see students get involved in their church, especially when it comes to music. There are a lot of opportunities from children’s church, youth bands, bell choirs, and even praise bands in today’s churches. Students can get involved from a basic level to a more advanced level, depending on their ability.
Coffee shop. Arrange for a student night at your local coffee shop or café. Take your recital music to the public by arranging to play at a local coffee house. They can advertise student night, and maybe even offer your students a discount for playing. If parents all come for coffee, it can offer a business boost to the shop on a slow night.
Master’s classes. Set up a master’s class or a piano party. These can be fun and lighthearted with lots of games and snacks, or even serious with a guest artist. Choose the style that fits your studio best.
Talent shows. Encourage students to join their school talent shows and performing groups. Help them prepare. Students that can make use of their music are more likely to stick with it, so help them prepare for fun events like talent shows and jazz bands. Don’t forget things like district wide chorus or other special performing groups.
Teacher appreciation. Contact the PTA to see if you can have students provide music for teacher appreciation breakfasts or assemblies at their local school. Students can show their appreciation for their teachers or other students and put their hard work to great use. If your students play a band instrument, have them form a small ensemble or play to a CD.
Friend lessons. Provide friend lessons where students can bring along a friend or other student to perform for. This may even bring a few new students in to your studio.
Hire a band. Some studios will go so far as to hire a rhythm section or band to accompany their students for recitals and special occasions. Think of the fun and satisfaction this would bring to your students and their parents.
These are just a few ways to help your students show off their hard-earned skills. There is nothing like the satisfaction of a job well done, for teachers and students alike.