Do you hold rehearsals for your recitals? When I first started teaching I didn’t. It wasn’t until a few years later when I held my recital in a big venue that students were unfamiliar with, that I thought a rehearsal would be a good idea. Fast forward to today and now I think holding a rehearsal is an absolute must.
Why? Oh, so many reasons! But here are my top 6…
- It’s a perfect time to go through performance tips and tricks.
- It settles some nerves. A lot of times our nerves come from the unknown. So when students go through the entire process of what they will be doing at the recital itself, the nerves lessen.
- It allows students to perform their piece in a more “relaxed” environment first.
- It creates excitement! This is a great time to pump things up!
- It’s a great time to remind them that the purpose of the recital is to share the love of music with those they love. Everyone who is there is there because they love and care about them and want to support them.
- It sets the recital up for success!
While many of these things can be done at a typical group lesson, there is something about the focus on recital prep. Even though we are not able to hold the rehearsal at the venue itself, when they get to the recital they know exactly what to expect and are ready to go.
It’s important to note that I don’t go through this process for every one of my performance events during the year. I only hold rehearsals for my big spring recital, because this is the event that is different from all of my others. And it is the only event I have all my students participate in. (All the others are optional)
In the video below I show you some behind the scenes of what a typical recital rehearsal is like in my studio and some tips and tricks that I like to do during this time.
A couple of other tips (or clarifications) I failed to mention in the video…
For the rehearsal, all my students just come on their normal lesson day but during the same hour. So I won’t have all my students there on one day. That would make things difficult with varying schedules. So if they can’t make that particular time then they just come on a different day. This has worked really well.
Because all the students are not there, I do let them know their order “number” of where they are in the program, so they have an idea if they are towards the beginning, middle or end. At the recital itself, I have name tags taped on the seats. So they just go find their seat when they arrive.
I like your idea of the “hot seat!” (I’m not sure if I want to call it that though….because they are already a bit nervous! )
It would keep things moving and avoid the confusion of in and out the rows that I sometimes have.
Everyone’s recital is so different….I love gathering ideas. Thank you.
Ha, ha, Leah! Funny that you mentioned that because we have joked over and over about calling it a “hot seat!” We just can’t figure out a better name. If you can think of something, let me know! 🙂
Thanks Jennifer. I really like the stage drawing. Great idea for new students. I do pretty much exactly what you do including using the same or similar dining room chairs for seating. haha. I typically, if time schedule allows have a pre rehearsal at master class for the older students where we identify ways to make their piece even better and then a rehearsal where we run straight through in the order of performance. I have 3 “hot seats” in the studio and everyone else is out in the living area and rotate each time. Keeps them awake and gives the performers a close audience since I cannot fit everyone in the studio. I have the students figure out their plan B if they get lost or forget or whatever and try to focus on the same things you do. I teach microphone presence and I put stickies with their names on the chairs where I want them to sit in order. Thanks as always Jennifer for this blog to share
That’s great, Pamela! Thanks for sharing! 🙂