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  • Writer's pictureValerie Salcedo

How I host my student recitals!

Along with performing, hosting workshops, singing at church, auditions, music directing children's theater shows, and designing my dream bedroom :D ... I love private teaching students. I teach voice and piano. I usually have 8-10 students I teach every week. Many of them are actively involved in their church worship teams, school choirs, prepare for talent shows, or want to audition for the lead role in the upcoming musical. I love sharing tips on how I host my recitals to make it an event that the students and their families will enjoy and remember.

In the weeks leading up the recital, I start doing practice performances during their lessons. I always tell them that their name is their cue to start making their way onto the stage. For example, "Our next performer is "Alena Gorban"...(cue to walk to the stage and get ready). Usually when I introduce my students I like to give the audience fun facts about them. I'll often have a question that I ask every student so I can announce their answers at the recital. The question for this recital was, "What do you want to be/occupation?" The audience really enjoys hearing their answers and getting a little insight on each student instead of just watching student after student perform. It's a fun way to transition performers and gives them time to get situated onstage. I usually practice this process during their lessons so they get a feel of timing and hearing me speak while they prepare.

We would even have a practice audience during our lessons so the students know which side the audience will be sitting on.

Our audience of 2 really enjoy hearing my student practice their beautiful songs. One of them came from Panda Express while the other traveled all the way from South Korea to be here. :)

On recital day, I get to the venue about 2 hours early to start setting up and preparing. I set out the programs which I hand-made out of paper, ribbon and rhinestones I already had. I am incredibly resourceful when it comes to finding clever ways to use things I already have.

The paper is a thick metallic gold card stock paper which I've used for other events. The ribbon was from an old Christmas bow which I cut in half. The rhinestones in the middle of the bow are leftover from a shirt I was designing.

I make sure all of the chairs at the venue are straight and neatly set up with leg room for our audience to enjoy the performance in comfort. The recital was held at the Steinway Piano Gallery in Fresno, California. I absolutely love this venue and the staff there. The concert hall is beautiful, intimate and incredibly welcoming.

My students were so excited when I told them that they were going to perform on a 9 foot Steinway and Sons concert grand piano. For this recital, I had a lot of new students who were in awe of playing on such a beautiful instrument. It was fun educating them on exactly why performing on a Steinway was such a big deal. They were beyond thrilled.

For my young girls students, I always have them practice sitting at the piano. Often times they wear a dress to the recital which may be difficult to properly sit on the piano bench so I have them practice maneuvering their beautiful dresses. These are small things that make a big difference to their performance. I want them to feel comfortable and confident.

I start every recital with an opening prayer. I pray for all of the students and their families and give thanks to the Lord for allowing us the opportunity to make beautiful music. I pray that if any of the students are extremely nervous that they are at peace knowing we are all there to support and cheer them on. I pray for any audience members who are running late that the Lord keep them safe. I pray that the students do their best and that they are proud of themselves for accomplishing new tasks.

At the end of the recital, I call all of my little performers back to the stage for a closing prayer. After, I always have some kind of dessert and beverages for everyone in attendance. It's a great way to for everyone to fellowship, take photos, and simply celebrate the accomplishments of their love ones.

The cake is a marble cake from Food Maxx and was incredibly delicious. They make great cakes with affordable prices.

I'm so grateful to be able to share my love and joy of music with others. Thank you again to Steinway Piano Gallery for hosting us. What a blessing!!!

This was Logan's first piano recital and he was awesome! Great job Logan!
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