Three MUST-HAVES for your upcoming recital

With recital season right around the corner, here are three things that will guarantee a top-notch recital experience for you, your students and your audience!

#1 Confident Performers

Once a student has a piece performance-ready, the next step is equipping the student with skills to perform it with confidence.

A number of years ago, I codified the routine of performing into five steps and all my students review these EVERY year.

Just in case they forget, I created an infographic that lays out the 5 steps and on the back side, there are ten tips for top performances.

You can download the infographic and get all the details of the 5 P's of Performing at the link below.

Honor your students' efforts with strong performing skills. It will make your recitals sparkle with joy and smiles!

Read up on the 5 P's and get your infographic to share with your students at the link below.

The Five P's of Performing

#2 Performers Who Listen

In order to prepare for an upcoming performance, it's important that students have the opportunity to perform and practice the Five P's. A more casual environment is best to warm them up for the real thing.

In addition, it's good for students to watch others perform and be aware of every portion of a solid performance.

Group lessons are an ideal place for "practice" performances. They can serve as a support group where everyone can share in the "trials" of performance prep and cheer each other on.

Sitting while others perform can make some wiggly so as one student performs, it's important to keep the others actively listening.  Earlier this year, I tried something new with the help of "Listening Stations" to engage the audience. It worked!

I created four large cards with emoji's that reflect levels of proficiency without being too negative--it's always a fine line! I printed these out and laminated them so student evaluators could circle the emoji face with a dry-erase marker. This way the cards could be used over and over as students rotate between stations.

At each station, students were given an emoji card and were assigned to watch for or listen for a specific element of the performance. You'll notice, that each card offers some guide questions. Before we began the rotation, we discussed each card so students were clear on what they were to do.

After one student performed, the other students shared their feedback of what they saw or heard by circling one of the emoji faces. They also gave a brief reason for the face they circled. Students were coached to offer positive comments and gentle tips for improvement.

Below are the listening stations.

  • Performance Station: Student at the piano performs a piece using the Five P's.
  • Bow Station: Student gives feedback on the performer's bow.
  • Detail Station: Student gives feedback on the performer's dynamic contrasts and other details.
  • Flow Station: Student gives feedback on the performer's ability to keep going even if there's a glitch in the performance.
  • Posture Station: Student gives feedback on the performer's posture.

If you have less than 5 students in a group, some can double up on duties. If you have more than 5 students, offer additional stations like...

  • Reward Station: After a student performs, he/she gets to play The Most Amazing Sheep Game on an iPad with headphones.
  • Drawing Aerobics Station: Ask students to trace or draw various music signs and symbols on a dry erase board or worksheet.

Once feedback was given, students left the emoji card on their station or chair and moved to the next chair to listen to or watch for a new performance element. Or, it was their turn to sit in the "hot seat" and perform.  This rotation continued until everyone performed.

These Emoji Listening Stations worked REALLY well because...

  • There was equal time for everyone to perform and share feedback on specific performance elements.
  • Students were up and moving between performances and so wiggles were minimized.
  • Strong listening skills were encouraged and verbal and evaluation skills were developed.

Get your FREE Emoji Listening Station Cards at the link below.

Emoji Listening Station Cards

#3 Recital Program Cover Art that Rocks

An eye-catching, organized program lets your audience know that you've got your act together. Andrea West has a design for you at the store front.

Check them out here.

Or, raise your recitals to a new level and offer a themed recital. Streamline your cover art with your decor, the repertoire, and the snack table. Andrea has created a number of clever themes that will dazzle your crowd.

Check them out here.

All spring designs are on sale until April 1st so get them at the link below right now.

Spring Graphics for your Recital


It's never too early to think about his summer. You'll gain some cool ideas for the hot summer months ahead at our next 88 Creative Keys Online Clinic which happens to be FREE this time and features special guest and rock star presenter, Samantha Coates.


Register for the FREE Online Clinic HERE.