9 Tips for a Successful Studio Recital

Is your recital coming up? Have you ever had recitals go smoothly only to be followed by the next semester’s recital that didn’t go quite the way you thought it would? I know I have.
Up until last fall all my recitals had always gone smoother than I could have asked, but this last December things didn’t go quite as planned. In fact, I barely got the programs printed because my printer broke, I got locked out of the church where the recital was to be held, and we almost completely ran out of punch and the first reception. Thankfully I got the programs printed at the last second, finally got into the church, and managed to secure more punch for the second recital and reception.

This experience got me thinking about what I already do to keep recitals flowing smoothly and if there was anything else I could do to keep recitals successful.

9 tips to help your studio recital be a huge success.

Here are a few things I have always done and a few I will add to this year’s recitals to do list (Like asking for a parent volunteer).

Confirm the church key or door code 24-48 hours in advance to make sure you have the proper code or key.

Print the programs more than a day in advance. Nothing is worse than running around the day of trying to print programs.

Ask for parent volunteers at the reception to serve punch and take wrappings off the finger foods so that you can visit with students and their parents.

Remind parents to bring a finger food items to share for the reception.

Have a recital run through of student’s pieces at the lesson(s) before the recital. Have young students practice walking up to the piano, playing their pieces, and bowing.(Group class is also another great place to practice this.)

Ask new students to arrive early at the recital so they can familiarize themselves with the location and piano.

Avoid starting late by requiring those playing to arrive by a specific time before the recital starts.

Have particularly young students or those who get nervous easily play early in the program so their nerves don’t “get a hold” of them.

Try to spend time after each recital speaking to each student and telling them specifically what they did well.

Make a point to speak to any parents you have not met yet or don’t see regularly.

What do you do to keep recitals successful? I would love to hear in the comments below. Or do you have a funny story of a recital flop? Locked out of the church, double booked location, or other flop? I would love to know I’m not the only one who worries the church will forget I booked the sanctuary for the entire afternoon.

3 Thoughts on “9 Tips for a Successful Studio Recital

  1. Heidi on April 30, 2015 at 2:22 am said:

    What a great post! I like the reminders to try to speak to each student afterwards, and to the parents we don’t see much of. Isn’t it crazy when we teach someone’s child and don’t even know their mom and dad? 🙂 I do have a recital flop to share! I had booked a hall for our spring recital. Our Christmas recital was held there, so I was familiar with it and the piano. The day of the spring recital I got there in the morning, thinking myself pro-active in setting everything up ahead of time. So I bustled about, getting the juice made and all poured out in cups on trays, napkins ready, etc. Then I moved the piano to the spot I wanted and started to set up chairs. I knew I had a few students coming to help me, so I took a break and decided to finally play a bit on the piano. Well, I noticed right away that one of the keys wasn’t making a noise when I played it, and it was MIDDLE C!!! The most-used key of all! In trying to open the piano and see what was wrong, the whole front panel fell off and banged on the floor. So that was broken. So was poor middle C, one of the wooden shafts was snapped in two. Various other keys were also broken and the whole piano was out of tune. What a shock! It was fine in December! I called around, to see if there was any way to get a good digital piano with speakers, to no avail. Thankfully the group who owned the hall also had their church building on the same property, which they grudgingly let me use. It had a so-so digital piano that served it’s purpose, but the students did not enjoy playing it. 🙁 And all those trays off juice had to be dumped back in jugs to transport to the church, then re-poured in the new location. So crazy! I was glad that I had help, and it all ended up working out!

    • musicteachingadventures on May 1, 2015 at 11:19 am said:

      Wow! At least you found a place to have the recital even if it wasn’t the best instead of having to cancel or play on a broken piano. Hey and at least you tried the piano before the recital started so you knew! Hopefully you have found a better place for this semester’s recital. 🙂


      • Heidi on May 2, 2015 at 4:45 pm said:

        Yes, that’s for sure! 🙂 Now I always make sure I try out the piano before any recital, even if we’ve played there before! The incident happened several years ago, and I’ve found several other venues that work great. 🙂

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