Planning a recital is a big exercise in project management. I want to share some of the basics of the process here to help parents understand some of the preparation that goes into pulling of a successful recital. It's a lot of work, but all worth it!
First, book a venue, taking into consideration school calendars, holidays, and open dates at the venue. Let students and parents know about the performance.
Plan the music. This takes the most work! I like to give students a say in what they will perform, so I guide them through some options and generally let them make the final decision. When selecting music for a student, it's important to consider the difficulty of the music and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of that student. I try to avoid two students performing the same piece in the same recital and aim for variety of music in a recital to keep it interesting for the audience.
Get students working on the music. Make sure they are on track to "peak" at performance date. It's a tricky balance between allowing enough time to prepare but not so much that the piece becomes stale from over-practice. More advanced students have complex music that can take months to learn while young beginners rarely need more than a month on a particular song.
Plan the theme, if a themed recital. Design and print programs. Plan and purchase refreshments. Make sure students know exactly what to expect and practice their entrance, stage presence and bows as well as their music.
Recital day! Make sure to pack the car with everything needed and save room for any passengers. Arrive early and count on wonderful parents to help set up the room. Sit back and enjoy the show!
After the recital, more wonderful parents help put away chairs and pack up refreshments. Enjoy having some time to talk with students and their families. The next week in lessons, debrief about what went well and what can be improved upon for the next performance.
Hi! My name is Mariya, and I teach flute and piano lessons in Redmond, WA and am a performing musician. Here I share thoughts about learning music and helping others learn how to play an instrument.