I believe that learning to perform with confidence and poise is a very important skill. Therefore, during the year there are several opportunities for students to play in front of an audience These events provide further incentive for students to practise and can contribute to a student's sense of accomplishment. Performing in front of a group certainly transfers to the skill of Public Speaking, which is a wonderful side benefit.
1.Around October 31, a "Dress-Up" Recital takes place in my Studio (students only). The children come dressed in costumes, play a piece for each other, and bring treats to contribute to 'Trick or Treat' bags.
2.During the 3rd week in November there will be Canada Music Week Recital organized by the Registered Music Teachers Association, Abbotsford Branch. Each teacher is allowed a limited number of entries. I like to have one or more students take part in this.
3.At a date close to Christmas, we will have a formal Christmas Recital, at Calvin Presbyterian Church (corner of Hazelwood and Abbotsford-Mission Highway). This is always a wonderful festive occasion when the children dress in their finest, and play for parents, relatives and friends. There are always refreshments following the Recital!
4. Around February 14 we have a Valentine's Recital (students only). We have a discussion about ways they can show love to others in their own worlds. The students come dressed in red/pink/white and each play a love song, which they begin preparing right after Christmas. This recital is held upstairs in our living room and the students perform on the Concert Grand Piano. Following the recital, I treat them to a sit down 'Candlelight Tea Party' with fancy dishes and special Valentine's treats. There is always a prize for the student(s) dressed the most festive!
5. In June there is a Year End Recital, which is held in a church sanctuary and followed by refreshments. This also is a formal recital, and parents, relatives and friends are welcome.
6. Beginning near the end of April and continuing into the first week in May, the Abbotsford Music Festival , organized by the Registered Music Teachers in Abbotsford, takes place. Although many students take part in this, it is left to my discretion to decide just which ones will most benefit from participation. Applications for this must be submitted at the end of February.
7. During June, students may take part in the Royal Conservatory of Music Piano Examinations, which are held in Abbotsford. Again, decisions are made on an individual basis and I will make the final decision about who may apply.
Preparations for Festivals and RCM Exams require a student to prepare pieces to a very high standard. For this, they need to possess a high level of maturity and discipline as well as serious practise habits. Once students have committed to either of these events, we work very hard. When the deadline arrives, if their pieces are not 'performance ready', regretfully, I will have to ask them to withdraw.
8. I am hoping that it may be possible this year to arrange to perform at a Seniors' Residence .
9. I am also hoping to have some Saturday morning sessions in the Studio where students can mingle together, and perform for one another.
This allows for a minimum of four opportunities for students to perform in a recital setting. In browsing through other music websites, I have noticed that most studios provide for one, at the most two recitals per year for students. These are very much" bonus events", and compensate for the fact that there will be 'no make-ups for missed lessons' this year.