Each Christmas, Kristin’s Music Studio hosts and presents a recital. Students select one or two, or more Christmas pieces – some are solos and some are duets with either their teacher or another student (or parent). At the recital, they receive certificates (and this year, little trophies), Christmas gifts, and recognition of a job well done & a year of music well prepared. :) We record (video) the recital for teacher critique & for students to see their improvement from year to year. It has been very helpful!
After the performances (this year, we had 16 piano students & 4 voice students… 2 of which were also piano students… perform), we take group pictures, students have their individual pictures taken at the piano, and have refreshments! I’ve been very blessed with a studio full of families who bring refreshment finger food to share (keeping the cost down) & I provide the juice punch and utensils/paper products for the refreshment time.
The church in which we hold the recitals is beautiful and laid out perfectly for our needs – and we sincerely appreciate being able to use it at a cost within the studio recital budget. :)
During the refreshment time following the recital performances, families mingle, visit, and enjoy delicious Christmas-themed treats and other goodies. This is the third recital year in a row, though, I’ve missed out on the food, only to have the wonderful opportunity of chatting with parents who really are the pivotal reason we can hold these recitals! Their support throughout the year of their children, me, and the studio goals is what really makes this all possible. I love working with these wonderful families!
This year, as always, many volunteers helped make this recital better than ever! Dad video taped the entire recital from start to finish for me to edit later and with the balloons mentioned later in this entry, Hilary took the pictures & individual phone videos for me to give to students who requested it, Mom ran the guestbook/photo album/refreshment table and much more behind the scenes things I don’t even know about!, Emma kept the refreshments stocked & kitchen cleaned with many other helpful volunteers. Kaitlyn’s mom and my friend Talitha blew up & hung up the music & snowflake balloons we had for the first time – which students were then able to bring home. Hilary & Talitha helped me with the initial setup and organization of the boxes of supplies, decorations, and more. My brother was even visiting from the Marine Corps & was able to help with setup & cleanup – and visiting. :) Friends of Emma’s made & brought beautiful centerpiece decorations. Many families helped with the cleanup afterwards. We even had a sound system tech guy (my brother-in-law!). Because of him, those in the back of the room (and possibly front), could hear me talking before & after the recital (I’m a quiet talker) and the four singing students could use microphones at their first voice recital! :)
The entire day was absolutely wonderful. I’m so proud of my students, and they worked REALLY hard in preparation for this performance. It has been really nice, though, to relax following the recital as we have started tackling skills we had to put to the wayside as we prepared for the big day. Everyone is making wonderful progress, and will be even more ready for next year’s Christmas recital. We’re even planning the possibility of a performance this spring! If we do something like that, it will be much more simple. ;)
Each year prior to recitals, we have a group lesson or two – giving students the opportunity to perform for a few peers before performing for a large audience. When we begin preparation for Christmas Recital 2012, around the beginning of October, the music selections will likely grow in difficulty. I’ve been having fun looking through pictures of past studio years – and the same core group of students from 5 years ago have been doing the same group lesson activities they did back in 2nd grade… but now, with greater difficulty & music selections of more drama, elegance, and skill. It’s a lovely thing to see and hear. :) Over the years, too, we have had new students join, and the group that has been here the longest is very welcoming, open, and excited to have newcomers join! At the recital this year, a student in particular came excitedly into the church ready to perform and eager to be there. Her first question, “Where is ________?” The student she asked to see & give a hug was a student in the same group lesson (it was a small group lesson – with only two). ;) They had only met in passing as their lessons are back-to-back prior to that, and it was just a wonderful thing to see a friendship of trust and encouragement grow.
It is a highlight of my year – and I’m excited for next year. Suggestions? Questions? Comments? Ideas? Wanna join us next year? Interested in starting lessons in time to prepare to perform at our next recital this spring? :) Welcome aboard!
Photos courtesy of Hilary Schaffner – http://hilaryschaffnerphotography.wordpress.com/