Recital Time, Round Two! + A Few Thoughts on Recitals for Piano Teachers

The end of my piano year has been so crazy, but good. I have this week and next of “regular” lessons and then a break until the Summer Session begins in July. Even then, I’ll only be teaching for 6 weeks/3 days per week. So my life isn’t too rough.

recital programs cute

I ended up having 16 of my students perform on Friday evening, and they all did a beautiful job. I know some of them were really cramming at the last minute, but nobody had to know that except for their teacher. I am so proud of them. I love my job.

balloons in the backseat

As much as I tried to keep it simple, we were still up until 1AM the night before crafting, and the back seat was full of balloons. Just in case you’re wondering, 20 balloons will fit in the backseat of the car, no problem!! :)

kevin craftingThanks, Kevin. You’re amazing. Thank you also to Kristy for calling me out on Instagram when I posted a pic of my programs. yes, Kevin’s been crafting again. :)

poor kevinJust for fun, here is last year at this time. To be fair, I helped a lot more this year than I did last year. Mostly because I wasn’t working another full-time job. Last year, Kevin took the whole afternoon off work and set everything up for me while I was teaching! Yeah, he’s the best.

recital refreshments piano

This year for the recital refreshments, I bought everything from Trader Joe’s!! It was awesome. The thought briefly crossed my mind that I should bake everything, but I’m quite certain that would have been disastrous. I also let some students bring cookies because I’m that nice. :) Of course, we recycled the drink dispensers from our wedding once again. They were a great investment!

recital venue piano

This year’s venue was a little bit ugly (music store showroom area), but I was thankful that it was FREE and that my students had an opportunity to play a nice grand piano. For many of them it was their first time. This pic was snapped while we were still setting up, but those seats were almost full. We had a great and extremely supportive audience. Go parents!!!

piano recital teacher corrie

Here are my thoughts and ideas on piano recitals for the benefit of other new teachers:

  • Keep them short. Nobody wants to sit there for longer than 60 minutes and watch other peoples’ kids. I think 20 students would be my max that I would allow in one recital, and that’s only because my students are extraordinarily adorable.
  • Keep them fun. A few balloons really go a long way in creating a festive environment. I don’t know why I decided I needed to decorate for recitals. None of my teachers ever did, but it’s been a great success!
  • Let the students use their music if it makes them more comfortable. Walk up on the stage with them and make sure their hands are in the right position (younger kids) if they need it. I do not care. I want it to be a positive performing experience for them. I even let several students start their pieces over, and that was totally fine. Most of my students are likely not going to Juilliard (though some of them may if they set their minds to it!), but I want them all to be lifelong lovers and performers of music!
  • Make it memorable. Take lots of pictures and video. Send them to the parents. This helps them remember that piano lessons are both awesome and indispensable! It’s better to advertise to the students you already have, right? I had Kevin take a pic of each student as they performed, and I’m thinking of making these postcards to send out at the beginning of summer break. I know my kids would be thrilled to receive a pic of themselves in the mail. They’re cute like that.

P.S. Wearing flats is overrated. For the second year in a row, I wore a pair of brand new heels. I haven’t fallen. Yet.

The crazy news is that since the recital I’ve already had two new inquiries. One of my piano parents must have posted something on Facebook or went home and called all of her friends!! I already have six students on a waiting list for summer lessons, so I have my work cut out for me deciding if I will be able to accept them all and scheduling them!! While I’m really flattered that they would do that, I want to keep the studio at a manageable number (for me) so that I can keep trying new things and growing as a teacher. Also, I want to be able to sleep in and go to CrossFit when I want. Sad but true.

Have you ever participated in a recital as a teacher or a student? What was your experience? What could have made it better? Do you have to do any other event planning for your job?  I’m sure it would’ve been better if your programs had ribbons on them! Haha.

Related: My First PIano Recital (as the teacher)



5 thoughts on “Recital Time, Round Two! + A Few Thoughts on Recitals for Piano Teachers

  1. Corrieanne, your drinks in the dispensers look delicious! I bought drink dispensers for my recital this year. What is your drink recipe? Also, can you share your recital program idea? Thanks!

  2. Love it! So nice of Kevin to help out like that.

    Congrats on new potential students, too! My experience with recitals is that it was always very, very formal. It would be at a church with a giant grand piano which I wasn’t ever used to playing so it felt a lot different. We mostly were expected to have our music memorized. The length always felt like forever, especially waiting for my turn because I got so nervous! We had one student who was a very gifted prodigy so it was always cool to watch him perform the most difficult pieces for like 10 minute straight, but for kids it got a little boring after the first few minutes.

  3. As someone who has participated in more recitals than I could ever count, I looooove your 60 minute rule. I also love that you’re focused on making it a good experience for the kids instead of pretending it’s a professional performance. I bet you’re a super fun teacher. I had a couple not super fun teachers growing up. Ha!

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