MUSIC STUDENT ACTIVITIES
STUDENTS WHO PARTICIPATE WILL DO BETTER THAN THOSE WHO DO NOT.
STUDENT EVALUATIONS: Full, Non-Competitive, Benchmark Exams of the National Standards. Levels 1 to 10. The student prepares 3 pieces, from 3 different periods of music. Memorization is recommended for all 3, but required for only 1. The student performs for an evaluator who will also question the student about symbols & notation in the repertoire to ascertain understanding of style, historical period, tonality, form rhythm & terms and about knowledge of his/her instrument. Sight-play materials at 2 levels lower than repertoire performed. Music Literacy Written Evaluation & Aural Perception Evaluation each year at the level of the performance repertoire. Students with over 1 year of lessons participate.
MUSICAL SUMMER CAMPS: Varying subjects and levels for all students - Recommended.
* Competitions available through AMTA/MTNA each Fall. Serious!
* Recitals at Chapter, District and State Levels open on approval to students who wish to participate.
* Two to four Mini-Recitals are held each year at the local retirement and nursing homes. It brings a lot of happiness to many people who may not get any visitors for months at a time and gives the student a valuable performance opportunity. Please plan to participate whatever your level.
- POSTED EVENTS: You will receive information on many local free or low cost, musical events. TRY THEM!! Again, there is no substitute for live and hands on experiences. Seeing & hearing music in various formats and styles and being enjoyed by many people will advance & encourage students of all ages!
- FIELD TRIPS: Strongly recommended. There is no substitute for live music and hands on experiences.
Formal Studio Recitals are currently held twice a year: Spring and late Fall. All students should participate if they have been a student for more than 4 months. Please come and observe in any case. These are complete with programs, participation certificates and Potluck/refreshments afterwards.
Successful recitals guidelines - PREPARING: or Keys for success:
* Lots of Advance Preparation.
* Pieces SHOULD be memorized, but a successful, expressive performance is most important.
* Practice playing with the metronome a few times to feel the correct speed & to learn how to keep a steady beat. It is very easy to speed up when you are excited or nervous
* Practice starting your piece from various places. If you know how the beginning of each section sounds, the piece will be easier to memorize. If you get stuck or lost during a recital jump back into the piece at the beginning of the next section.
* Practice approaching the piano - smile - bow/curtsy (try counting to 4 or say a phrase like “I like pizza” so it does not look like a silly bob) – play your music - smile - bow/curtsy - WALK back to seat. Under pressure, these are NOT always intuitive!
* Once you know your music, practice performing at home for friends, relatives and so on, lots and lots! At these practice performances do not stop & try to correct mistakes. Fix any trouble spots later.
* Record yourself playing your piece(s) and analyze to hear how the music would sound if you were in the audience. It is much easier to hear places that are not smooth or should have more expression!
* Formal wear is required – No mini skirts, torn clothing, jeans, or tennis shoes. But - Choose comfortable clothes & shoes for recitals. Be able to move & stretch and press the pedal comfortably. Practice in your concert clothes before the performance.
STUDENTS AT THE RECITAL:
* Be Polite: Be a good listener and do not talk or make noises when other people are performing. Stay for the whole Concert. Compliment others after the recital.
* Approach the piano - smile - bow/curtsy - adjust the bench to fit you, so that you will be at your most comfortable - play - bow/curtsy - WALK back to seat
* Try to look happy even if you make a mistake & KEEP ON GOING!! (Remember, even the best make mistakes.) Don't get upset on stage - your audience may not even notice unless you show them! Even if the audience does know - they will respect your determination to complete your program. Also, don't forget the family & friends that are there to support you!
* Don't forget to breathe; it will not only make you feel relaxed, but will help you play expressively and shape phrases nicely.
If you are nervous (try these ahead):
* Breathe slowly and deeply with your hand on your stomach, in, hold, out, hold, in hold, out, hold, etc. to a count of 4 for each part. Feel your breathing. It should feel like your stomach and lungs are filling up with air like a balloon.
* Your mind is what makes you feel afraid before a recital so it is very important to calm it down. Before a Recital try to find a quiet place where you can relax. Close your eyes and picture yourself in a beautiful, peaceful place. This could be a beach, mountaintop or meadow. Clear your mind of all other thoughts. Or, count slowly from 10 backwards with your eyes shut. Or, while you wait your turn, visualize yourself going through your entire performance, from entering stage to final bow, perfectly.
* Playing piano is a physical activity, so relaxed muscles are very important for a good performance. Your back, arms, hands, and even legs should all work together like a well-coordinated machine. Try relaxing your body muscle by muscle: first tense for a few seconds and then release so they feel floppy. Focus on the difference between feelings of tension and release. Start at your toes and work up to the top of your head, tightening and relaxing each muscle. Then do every muscle at once.
GOOD MANNERS AT A RECITAL ARE FOR EVERYONE:
* Arrive at a quarter of the hour - late arrivals are very distracting.
* Guests other than immediate family are always welcome, BUT if you will be bringing more than 4 or 5 people, please let me know so that adequate seating can be provided.
* NO student or member of the audience may bring or use ANY cell phones, beepers, electronic games or CD/tape players (except for recording). These and ANYTHING that blips, bloops or bleeps will be confiscated.
* PLEASE attend the ENTIRE concert. The last student is as deserving of an audience as the first.
- Finally, due to a recent, but persistent problem with no show participants, a $10.00 fee will be assessed to the account of any student on the program that does not arrive. It disrupts the programs and unsettles the participants who are there to have the program constantly switched about
** NOTE: IT WILL REQUIRE AT LEAST 4 DAYS NOTICE TO BE REMOVED FROM THE PROGRAM.