Several of the students have been working on their music for the fall performance this month. I am so proud of the students and the hard work they are doing to prepare their fall Celebration songs, they are sounding fantastic! They made some great choices and you are going to hear everything from classical to Halloween music to current hits at the performance, I am sure you are going to enjoy their music.
In October we will study the concept of minor music by playing Halloween songs. I also use their method book songs and show them how to change the song from a major sound (happy) to a minor sound (sad or scary). Then we often re-name the tunes to make them fit the new minor sound. Students enjoy this creativity and it is my sneaky way to keep them practicing in the method books while preparing for the performance.
My students who have chosen not to perform are focusing on continuing in their method book and also adding songs that fit their chosen preference. One student is playing hymns in addition to their method book. Other songs played during lessons have been the theme to Harry Potter and the theme to Frozen.
On a personal note, I am also practicing to possibly perform with my son in his senior recital at TCU. I will play piano while he plays vibes. We are working on a haunting minor piece in Chopin style. If we get a recording of us rehearsing I will pass it on to my studio families, I think students will enjoy hearing the song.
HINTS ON HELPING STUDENTS GET READY TO PERFORM
My main goal for the performance is not perfection (because as I will tell them, we are all human and make mistakes) but learning how to polish a piece so a student is confident when they are performing.
If your student is performing, here are some ways to help them prepare:
-Practice practice practice! Students often feel like they have their song learned and quit working on it at this point. They will forget it quickly if they do not keep practicing it.
-Play their song on other pianos. It helps them get used to playing on various pianos, as all pianos respond differently. If they can play on a church piano or neighbor’s piano that would be great.
-Play their songs for anyone who will listen. If their music teacher at school will let them play for the class, this is very helpful. Playing for neighbors or relatives all helps because the more they play for others the more comfortable they become with having an “audience”.
-Play for their phone and make an audio or video recording. This often helps them hear mistakes they do not hear while practicing. It also feels like an audience.
AT THE LESSON
We will do all of these things at the lessons in October. We will do a video recording of their songs to show them how they are stopping at certain sections or making faces when they make mistakes. We will go in the house to my baby grand and practice on that piano to get a feel for how a grand piano responds. A few weeks before the performance, we make an audio recording of both songs and send it to the parents as this feels like a “rehearsal” to the students and gives them that extra incentive to practice in those last few weeks.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns about the performance.