Mary WilliamsPiano Studio

Interim Recital

Every year, we have two big recitals at the studio. Winter and Spring. Additionally, throughout the school year, we have different performance opportunities such as area competitions and festivals.

But, I decided, that is not enough.

As far as piano teachers go, I am very fortunate. I have a vibrant studio, with budding pianists working very hard and accomplishing a lot. I'm constantly searching for new repertoire music, as my students swallow the pieces I give them with the energy of a hot dog eating competition, minus the yucky aftertaste.

In addition to teaching repertoire music, we do a lot of talking about theory and incorporating it into our music. The goal is to mold pianists to not only be able to play beautifully, but to be fully aware of what they are playing, and be able to talk about it theoretically.

With this in mind, I created the Interim Recital.

This recital takes place between big recitals, when students are performance ready, but there are no big performances in the near future. And this is how it goes:

Each pianist prepares one piece, and plays it for the other students who are participating. Before the piece begins, they are to introduce it, give some background on the piece, and explain how they went about learning it, what challenges they faced, what new things they discovered, etc. Then they play the piece. Upon finishing the piece, they take questions from the other students. These questions varied greatly, such as when was the piece written, did it take you a long time to learn this piece, what does the title mean, what is your favorite part of the piece, etc. Then, when all the questions have been answered, the student plays the same piece one more time, allowing for the others to hear it in even more detail the second time around.

What an experience! I was very excited to hear students using the vocabulary they had been taught. (Sometimes, as teachers, we never know what is sticking to the brain, and what is going out the other ear!) They behaved in such a mature, educated way, each being courteous to the others performing, asking sophisticated questions, and speaking eloquently about their own pieces. Quite impressive!

Thanks to Margaret, Ava, Olivia, and Charlie for making our first Interim Recital one to remember. Your progress as musicians is incredible, and I cannot wait to see what is in store for you in the future!

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Olivia rehearses her Scherzo for the Interim Recital. Dressed appropriately, of course.