7 Hidden Lessons from a Museum Masterpieces Recital

A friend and colleague invited me to her recital which is this Sunday, but since my recital is the same day, I am unable to attend. I wish I could, however, as the recital she is hosting is a fun and unique idea. She gave me permission to share with you today.

Museum Masterpieces


I am featuring the four books of Catherine Rollin – Museum Masterpieces.  I heard about them when she conducted a workshop at Taylor University last September.  I knew then and there I was going to do this for the Spring recital.  The kids all chose their piece from the insert of the paintings she included in each book.  I asked them what painting caught their attention and then I played the piece.  They have been loving it!  Some asked to play two, so a few are doing that.

I am having my nephew, who is an artist here in Ft. Wayne, talk a little about each painting.  He will have some of his works on display and my students are submitting some artwork, which we will also display.  I have four boys that are serving hors d’oeuvres as we check this all out at the close of the recital.  It should be a lot of fun.

I was just looking up on Pinterest for my instructions on a “shaving cream” painting.  I think I can pull this one off and display it Sunday without knowing it is awful.  I am not talented in drawing, painting, etc.!!

Each painting will be projected on the screen at the front while the student plays.  And my “waiters” will be dressed in suits and bow ties, offering hors d’ (am tired of spelling that word) on silver trays.  A former student who just finished her first year at IU asked if she could come and take photos of the recital, as she has gotten interested in photography.  Then the pictures will be posted for others to see.

At the workshop Catherine told about her parents taking her, as a child, to many museums, to see original paintings.  So that had an impact on her.  And the pieces are wonderful, as you might imagine, and they are not all in the key of C or G! Very expressive.

I like to try making recitals as interesting as I can, and fun, as I hated recitals growing up!


Thanks so much to Marylee for her inspirational idea! I’m excited now to create my own Masterpiece Recital!


Masterpieces Preview

I came across a YouTube video that features the whole series, presenting a few clips from each level and previewing some of the images. The video is slightly blurry but well worth watching.

Download free samples from the Alfred site to follow along or play yourself.



Hidden Lessons

Not only have we gotten a great idea from Marylee but there are a lot of “hidden” lessons we can learn from her description and plan.


  1. Even though there’s a focus book, the series has several levels which allow all students to participate.
  2. Students were encouraged to choose their piece, giving ownership.
  3. Having all students perform from the same series and assigning roles beyond performing inspires a sense of teamwork –  belonging to something bigger than themselves.
  4. A professional in the artistic field is featured; there is application beyond just the music.
  5. Technology/visual stimuli are incorporated.
  6. Direct teacher participation.
  7. After-recital activities foster a sense of community within the studio (gives parents time to talk about how great the recital was!)



To see photo’s from my friend’s Museum Masterpiece Recital click here.