Last year I opened a new school in our district. It was a BUSY year. And I was able to get a 4/5 choir, two tone-chime choirs (one for 4th grade & one for 5th grade) and a drum ensemble going that met before or after school started. These groups performed three concerts. Additionally, each grade level had a concert and I volunteered teaching music to the preschool classes. So, I slept well, needless to say, with everything that went on.
A few people last year asked about a talent show. I'm one of those teachers that doesn't enjoy "doing" a talent show. I hate deeming students as "talented" enough but I also don't enjoy letting anyone and everyone do it. . . if you do, the question often turns to "where's the talent." And the last time that I did a talent show I ran rehearsals. . . 4 of them. All the kids showed me their routine, the SAME way at each rehearsal. The night of the talent show the cute little kindergarten that was dancing to "All the Single Ladies" (see why I cringe. . .) decided to slap her rear-end. . . a move that she had NEVER done in rehearsals. It was so inappropriate and embarrassing because I had made sure the acts where "clean."
With a new school I figured I had a clean slate. I didn't HAVE to do a talent show, I had a chance to create a new tradition. But what? Then this year it hit me. What if I did a school "recital?" Ding, ding, ding, light bulb moment!
Today was the recital and I am VERY pleased with the way it turned out. The parents and families were very happy and the kids had an opportunity to shine. And it was so musical.
Here's how it worked:
A couple months ago I sent out an announcement in the school newsletter that this year would be the "First Annual Red Hawk Recital." The specifics were this: it is an event that provides an opportunity for students taking private music lessons to perform for each other. The most important part of that sentence is "taking private music lessons." (While I did allow one student to perform who didn't but that's because Grandma taught her how to play Für Elise, which was played with amazing technique and accuracy.)
Then three weeks ago I sent home a letter in every one's Thursday folder. This recaped what the event was: an opportunity for students taking private lessons to perform for each other. Then, the bottom half of the letter was a permission slip that was signed by both the parent AND the private lesson teacher stating the student's name, what piece they have prepared to play, the composer, the instrument. The best part was I wasn't judging who was allowed to participate. Instead, I was relying on the judgement of the private lesson teacher to pick a piece that their student had prepared to play.
The students showed up, full of nerves (like everyone one does at a recital) but SO excited to share what they had prepared. We had mostly piano players, but a few violin players, some vocalists, a couple guitar players and a bass player. It was so much fun to hear them. And then afterwards we had a reception.
The best part is it was such easy planning on my part AND the students were SO successful!!! Just an idea I thought I'd share!
Have a GREAT Saturday everyone!