August 8, 2011 – Planning Recitals

When you plan a recital, you need to do a lot of work before the recital has begun for it to be successful.

  1. Select a time and date that will work for you. Hopefully, you will have a calendar far enough in advance that your students will be able to make it, too!
  2. Find a location. Churches are usually glad to rent space. If you find this is problematic, raise money by charging a recital fee or partnering with other organizations.
  3. Select music. whether this is for 40 students playing solos or for a group recital, selecting proper pieces is very important. It takes time to make sure pieces are leveled appropriately and put in an order that will make sense at the recital.
  4. Create a written program. Having a written program helps the program go smoothly and allows your audience a chance to know what is going on with the recital. Keep the program handy and give one to accompanists and other helpers so they know the order. These are also good keepsakes for your students.
  5. Plan a staging area. Make sure students know where to uncase and be before the show.
  6. Have a rehearsal. For individual recitals, this can be done throughout the week or before the show so students have a few run-throughs with the accompanist. For group recitals, even a short rehearsal before the program can be helpful in getting students oriented. I schedule what time each student should arrive, tune them and put them on stage for Suzuki group recitals. If they know their pieces, not much rehearsal is necessary.
  7. Plan for food. What better way to reward students than having a few goodies after a recital. I like bottled water and non-messy cookies! (Things you can take away with a napkin are best!)
  8. Make a getaway plan. I always give myself time to clean up and break down after an event. It’s very important to leave the facility neat and not lose anything.

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