Book Recitals

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Laura said: Oct 29, 2013
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
Stanton, MN
25 posts

Starting this year, I am offering the opportunity to my students to do a “Book Recital” when they complete a book. Feedback thus far has been very positive and I have one student scheduled for a recital in a month, and one scheduling for early in the new year and one more mulling over the idea. I’m looking for ideas on experience with this. What has worked well for your child, or your students? What has not worked well. My student with a book one recital next month has been doing heavy review work for the past 2 months and is pretty well prepared for it. He’s planning to pass around the hat for the audience to draw songs that he will play. He is having a small recital audience, and it will be at my house. He’s not into playing for large crowds. My next student may want a slightly larger affair for her book 2 recital. I’d love any input.

Laura said: Oct 31, 2013
Laura Mozena
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
Palm City, FL
105 posts

We have graduation recitals 2 times per month. The students graduating perform 5 pieces from book one. Twinkle and Gossec Gavotte (first and last) plus their choice of 3 pieces from the middle of the book. The same idea is used for books 2—8 but the number of pieces is reduced as the book gets higher. The students receive a metal after graduating. We even have graduations from the Twinkles. The kids and parents love it.

Laura
YMS

Anita said: Nov 1, 2013
 38 posts

Our teacher offers a Dec. recital each year, at which she hands out medals and certificates to students who have successfully completed a Suzuki book. The kids look forward to it. In order to “graduate,” there’s a private playing of the last piece in the book, along with the teacher (playing harmony), in the studio for which we prepare for several weeks. It’s tough—it has to be up to CD speed and flawless. Also, she offered to play at a small recital we could host in our home, at which she would play several selections with our students, but we have too much going on to even think about doing something like that! She mentioned that no one’s ever taken her up on the offer, so we’re not the only ones.

AMB

Phankao said: Nov 2, 2013
Phankao WanPiano, Viola, Violin
128 posts

Where to get scores for the Harmony?

Carrie said: Nov 2, 2013
 
Suzuki Association Member
58 posts

So far I’ve only had book one recitals. I use the monthly group class time. I give the student who has successfully completed book one several ideas on how to make the recital their own. Then they decide how they want to do it. They play every song in the book, usually in random order, though I allow teenagers to choose 10 songs from the book. The kids love it, and the parents are hugely proud! They can’t wait until they have completed book one so they can have their recital. Now they are asking for a book 2 recital as well.

carebear1158

Phankao said: Nov 2, 2013
Phankao WanPiano, Viola, Violin
128 posts

I just took a look at some description of Suzuki Piano Ensemble books online. Are they all for Two Pianos? None for 4hands on One Piano?

Carrie said: Nov 2, 2013
 
Suzuki Association Member
58 posts

I just reread your post and see that you are looking for ideas, not encouragement to do the recitals. :-) I have little fish with the names of the songs on them. I thought that I would buy one of the fishing games with the magnet on the pole and they could go “fishing” for each song to play. I haven’t found one of those magnetic poles, so they just “draw” a fish to play.
Some prefer to choose the order of songs somewhat, like using the Twinkles for a warm up, playing the first half of the book random, then the second half of the book random, and ending with Musette.
Others like to write a story using the song titles and play them in the order of the story.
I like to accommodate their creativity. I give them ideas and see what they come up with.

carebear1158

Robin Alfieri said: Nov 2, 2013
Robin Alfieri
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
Maynard, MA
4 posts

In my studio, it seems to help to combine students when possible. For example, I may have a student graduating from book 1 and another graduating from book 2. By doing the recital together, the families get to know each other better and the kids feel slightly less nervous because they aren’t the “only one!” We usually have a pot-luck type reception afterwards that the families provide. I always make sure that there is a pianist to play with because I feel that’s very important.

One thing I’ve found difficult is scheduling. With a growing studio, it has become more and more difficult for me to find times that work for everyone (me, the family, and the pianist) without losing all of my weekends! Perhaps another way would be to have a few graduation recitals, one in the spring and one in the fall?

Lori Bolt said: Nov 3, 2013
Lori Bolt
Suzuki Association Member
Piano
San Clemente, CA
229 posts

@ Phankao ~ Volume 1 of the Suzuki Ensemble music for piano is for 1 piano/ 4 hands. Young Musicians has it.

Lori Bolt

Phankao said: Nov 3, 2013
Phankao WanPiano, Viola, Violin
128 posts

Ok thanks. Hmm… I would be looking at Vol 2 though. Don’t want to revisit Vol 1 now. Do they have for 1 piano 4hands? I’ll look at Young Musicians. I did some searching online and got quite confused.

Lori Bolt said: Nov 4, 2013
Lori Bolt
Suzuki Association Member
Piano
San Clemente, CA
229 posts

@ Phankao ~ No, Vol 2 is for two pianos….but maybe you could just play one hand of the duet part on a single piano. I hope you find something that works for you :)

Lori Bolt

Phankao said: Nov 5, 2013
Phankao WanPiano, Viola, Violin
128 posts

Ok thanks. Just wanted to add some fun for my boy’s book 2 recital that we are preparing for.

Laura said: Nov 5, 2013
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
Stanton, MN
25 posts

Thank you for the great input. I’m excited for my first book 1 student recital in December. You gave me some great ideas to work with as I fine tune how these will work for my studio.

Laura

Hadley Johnson Gibbons said: Nov 7, 2013
Hadley Johnson Gibbons
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Seattle, WA
24 posts

Ooh! This thread seems to be over, but I just wanted to dip my oar in… Growing up, I thought that book recitals were a part of the Suzuki method. My teacher required them for each book. We had to play each piece, and then we got to move on to the next book. I LOVED book recitals. My mother got me a new dress, we baked cookies, and for awhile I did them together with a good friend. Looking back on it I realize how much time my teacher spent going to her students’ houses to do these recitals.

Now that I’m a teacher myself I tell my students the same thing! They all have to do a recital when they finish a book. My only requirement is that they prepare all of the pieces and play them at a sitting. Other than that they are free to decide what they want. I play the accompaniment part for them, so that part at least is easy. We spend several weeks preparing, including planning a program and deciding whether or not they should have an intermission. The last lesson before the recital is a run-through.

The simplest recital is at my studio in place of a lesson (they still have to dress up and invite family, so it’s a little more involved than just showing up for a lesson and hacking through the pieces). Others do it at their homes, churches, or even rent actual performance venues. Some do them together with friends, some invite the entire studio, some only want their parents to come. I once had a recital that started with champagne and hors d’oevres and ended with a huge potluck dinner! The great thing about these recitals is that students get more performance time, great feedback from family and friends, and I feel that I get to know them in an entirely different setting.

Lori Bolt said: Nov 8, 2013
Lori Bolt
Suzuki Association Member
Piano
San Clemente, CA
229 posts

My view on Book Recitals and my approach to them is very similar to Hadley’s. I’ve always seen them as a requirement. I’ve found it gives the students & parents an incentive to maintain the pieces. I just wish more of my other students would attend to see what they have to look forward to….I’ve considered having graduates perform at group, but takes away some of the personalized aspect for the family.

I’ve recently started a Twinkle “graduation” with a special @ lesson performance when a student can play all Twinkles. They receive a certificate and small gift.

Lori Bolt

Gloria said: Nov 8, 2013
 
Suzuki Association Member
Piano
72 posts

The way I have always done it is a book party/recital at the students home, with whatever audience the student would like and feel comfortable with. Often it is a real party, with food afterwards, friends, family, neighbors… and sometimes just the family and myself.
The student plays the whole book, of course from memory, and that is it! They get from me a certificate and I buy a little present for the student.
Besides that, in Colorado we have the SAC, which organizes a more formal graduation event every year, and it is up to the teacher to have the students participate.

Barb said: Nov 8, 2013
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
Cello
678 posts

Carrie,
My magnet fishing poles came from the Discovery Toys game, A B Seas.

Barb

Barb
Music Teachers Helper—for individual teachers
Studio Helper—for entire music studios or schools

Carrie said: Nov 9, 2013
 
Suzuki Association Member
58 posts

Thanks, Barb!

carebear1158

Carolyn Nadeau said: Nov 9, 2013
 Piano
5 posts

My daughter had her book 1 recital last spring and she loved it. It was mostly family who attended, and her little sister played a number in the middle to mix it up a little bit. We made the day all about her and it was a lot of fun. Her teacher said some nice things about my daughter and gave her a small gift and a candy bar. We didn’t play the songs in order but we started with Twinkle theme and ended with Gavotte.

Mark Stefaniw said: Nov 13, 2013
Mark StefaniwBass, Guitar, Cello
1 posts

Hmm … I’ve heard about book recitals at students’ homes. How do you charge for your time to go and accompany your students … or do most teachers do it as a labor of love?

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