When students complete an entire book, they are invited to give a full book recital. They invite friends and family to a location of their choice and they perform the entire book, usually by memory. Congratulations to every one of these students! If you haven't yet given a Book Recital, keep practicing; you'll get there!!
Approximately every other month during the school year, students audition to perform on a Nursing Home Recital. These recitals are very relaxed; we all wear the same uniform and they play pieces they feel confident about, as the pieces are meant to be presented as a gift to the residents of the communities we play for. Students choose a review piece that they have mastered and play an audition in their lesson. If they've met all of the goals for the piece, they are invited to play on the recital, if not, they are scheduled for the next recital and we work together to make sure the piece is polished. These are everyone's favorite kind of recitals!
Twice a year all the students gather for a more formal solo recital. For these recitals, a piece is chosen that requires students to push themselves and offers them an exciting challenge. As of the summer of 2015, we have too many students for just one recital, so we have split them into two groups! These recitals are given at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, which graciously allows us to use their beautiful space.
(If anyone has a picture from the second recital, please share it with me!)
Group Classes meet every-other Friday for 10 classes during the Fall and Spring semesters. At the end of each semester, we give a recital that features each of the groups as well as all of the groups playing together. Group class has helped to foster friendships among various ages and levels of students and has been a great motivator for everyone!
Learning to tune in Group Class
During the summer, students have participated in various camps and workshops. This allows us to get into music that we wouldn't otherwise get to play, like fiddle music and duets, and gives us a chance to work on reading and writing music and just focus on having a lot of fun with our instruments. These have gone so well, in fact, there will be 3 workshops planned through the 2015-16 year instead of just one in the summer!
At least once a year, we try to have some kind of community event that everyone is invited. Often we will go to a First Stage Children's Theater show, or a symphony concert, or an outdoor concert. An occasional treat after a recital is also a possibility!