Favorite Hymn and Praise Piano Books

and a Church-Music Themed Recital

Have you ever done a themed-recital?

Two years ago I decided I wanted to start doing themed recitals on occasion.  My Spring recital sometimes has a partial theme, but I wanted something that was a 100% all-in theme. Participation is optional for students, but both times I have had nearly 75% of my students participate. Mid-October seems to be a good time, right before Fall break.

My first one was a “color” theme. That recital happened prior to Piano Pantry so I don’t have a post about it¬† – maybe someday. ūüôā¬†This year, since so many of my students are already using their skills in church, it felt like the right time to do a “church-music” theme.

Today I’m going to share with you a few highlights from our recital as well as some of my favorite resources for church music¬†repertoire for students. Be sure and share your favorites in the comments!

Continue reading

2017 Studio 88 Spring Recital 

The Magical Forest, A Narrative Suite

This¬†year was my 6th Spring Recital teaching piano full-time. I’ve been teaching piano for¬†around 16 years but only part-time up until the last 6 years when I¬†opened “Studio 88” after getting my Masters in Piano Pedagogy and Performance.

Are my kids lovely or what? We were missing three this year but still had a good crew.

The last several years I’ve been trying to mix things up a bit to keep the big recital fresh and exciting.¬†Everyone plays a solo the first half of the recital followed by a 10-minute intermission.

The second half of the recital changes from year to year. Two years ago everyone played a jazzy style and I explained to the audience before each style set what they should expect to hear. Last year we did collaborative pieces including duets, trios, and two pianos four hands (some pieces with a live drummer).

This year, we did a studio-wide collaborative project. I pulled out a book I’ve been itching to use for several years but didn’t have enough¬†students at an early intermediate level to have performed them until now.

I’m going to share the process of pulling something like this together and also share a free download to help you plan your own production of this narrative suite.

 

The Magical Forest Narrative Suite

The Magical Forest- A Narrative Suite for Piano by Nancy Lau combines short narration with pieces. Each piece also has a representative drawing.

Pieces include: Entering the Magical Forest, Forest Fanfare, March of the Critters, Bear Dance, Waltz of the Deer, The Fairies Delight, Backwoods Bop, Woodland Farewell, and Leaving the Magical Forest. Continue reading

Recital Preparation Timeline and Checklist

Today, as I was looking over my Recital Preparation Timeline and Checklist, I thought “hey, my readers might find this useful!” So, today I have a free download for you!

It’s that time of year¬†when preparations for my year-end spring recital are in full-force.¬†Here’s what I have accomplished thus far:

1. Found, booked and confirmed location
2. Presented students with several piece options
3. Confirmed the student’s choice piece
4. Determined plans for the second half of the recital

(Each year the first half is everyone playing their solo then following a 10-minute intermission we do something different. Two years ago everyone did a jazzy style piece, last year we did collaborative pieces, and this year¬†we’re doing a studio collaboration on The Musical Forest: A Narrative Suite for Piano by Nancy Lau. I’ll share details after the recital!)

5. Announced recital location and details in my newsletter
6. Organized and assigned roles for the narrative suite

Next, I have to get all my awards figured out so I can order what I need! Continue reading

Photos from a Museum Masterpieces Recital

A couple weeks ago I wrote a post on a recital one of my colleagues was holding using Catherine Rollin’s Museum Masterpieces books.

See the original post here:

7 Hidden Lessons from a Museum Masterpieces Recital

Museum Masterpieces

 

Today I am passing along the photos from this fun recital. I love seeing the photos of the screen with each image while the student is playing. Most of those photos are on pages 2-6.

View the photos here.

Thanks so much for sharing once again, Marylee!

Studio 88 Spring Recital 2016

IMG_0998

 

This past weekend I held my fifth spring recital. Each year I try to do something a little different. This year the first half featured student solos and the second half collaborative pieces. There were several duets, one-piano six-hands, and two-piano eight-hand pieces. Besides a couple of duets here and there, this is the first time I’ve had all my students collaborate. Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Studio Awards 

Policies and Procedures

Like many teachers, at my studio’s spring recital, I hand out awards to recognize not only student achievements but their commitment to piano year after year. Team sports do it, so can we!

 

studio-award

 

A colleague of mine who has a new and quickly growing studio, recently posted in a Facebook group asking how in the world teachers with large studios kept track of everything – especially when it came to recitals. Well, my friend, this post¬†is for you as I’m about to share not only the various awards that I give from year to year but how I organize and track¬†everything.

Continue reading