Recently, I hosted a great performance opportunity for my piano students.
In my teaching studio, I work with students from all ages, ranging between 5-95. A great motivator for all students of any age is the opportunity to perform in the semi-annual recital. I host two recitals each school year: the first recital is scheduled around the beginning of December, the second recital is scheduled for the beginning of June.
As a music educator, I enjoy searching/experimenting with new ideas and gathering feedback from my students/parents. I am always trying to think of exciting ways to encourage my students to perform in public settings. This year, some of my students and parents approached me with the idea of organizing a performance opportunity that was somewhat different than the semi-annual recital.
After much searching on the internet and in the local scene, I decided to narrow down my search for the perfect venue. I realized that it was important to take into consideration that the bulk of the my students interested in this extra performance opportunity were under the legal drinking age, thus a bar or restaurant setting would not work. I was fortunate to find a great local coffee shop that served fair trade coffee, had a lovely menu, offered a comfortable setting for live performance, and was willing to host my piano students for an afternoon of live music.
A date was set, emails and confirmation texts/tweets were sent. Every student that signed up for the performance date and time showed up and brought along friends and family. The “admission charge” was to purchase a food or drink item from the menu of the coffee house; this option offered a great opportunity for the audience to enjoy great food and drink while offering support to the coffee house. (who offered the performance space for free)
The mood was light. There were many exciting, energetic performances of all styles of music from Baroque to Musical Theater.
All in all, this idea was a success; the coffee house is interested in hosting my piano students for another coffee house concert soon. The students are interested in returning to perform again; some students are interested in trying out for other performance opportunities such as open mic nights.
Thank you to those parents and students that asked me to try out this idea in the first place. You have started a new tradition! I hope that other teachers try this idea out as well, there is so much to gain.
For information on the coffee house that hosted, please check out the following link: