Sunday, December 19, 2010

Music Tip #59 Nontraditional piano recital

I like to think out of the box and do nontraditional things. That’s why I have my piano Christmas recital at the post office! Yes, that’s right. Our post office brings in a piano and entertains its customers while they wait in line. It started several years ago and has been going strong due to the behind the scenes work of Linda, the organizer of the entertainment. She schedules the musicians--and what a variety there is. There have been school choral groups, guitar players, violin solos, singers, piano players, and of course, my piano studio. I book an hour time slot on different days and let my students sign up for which day is best for them. I usually have 6-8 students during each hour time slot. My students make a line by the piano and take turns playing a Christmas song. When they finish their song, they go to the end of the line and wait until it’s their turn again. They get to play 7-8 times throughout the hour allotted time.

The customers in line are great. They applaud after the songs and even come by after mailing their packages to tell my students to “keep practicing. I wish I hadn’t quit.”

This is a great way to help bashful students have a successful performing experience. The atmosphere is nonthreatening because people are constantly coming and going and my students feel like they’re just in the background. It helps focus their practicing through the month of November and December because they know people will be listening, and it’s fun--they wear a Santa hat and get a candy cane at the end!

Nontraditional and fun—my way of doing things!


  1. Wow, what a wonderful and creative idea!! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hi: I bumped into your blog on an internet search for partner songs. I'm also a music teacher. I've just started using a Melodica to help teach group music lessons. You mentioned that you use Orff instruments. You ought to check out a Melodica, until a month ago I didn't even know they existed. You can purchase one for between $35 to $55. It's kind of like a key board, accordion, harmonica. Here is a you tube video of someone playing the Melodica. Best wishes thanks for the partner song lists!

  3. Wow, I've never heard of a melodica before. Tell me how you use it in group lessons. Since you have to blow into a tube to get the sound to produce, who does the blowing? You, the teacher? Do you share the blowing?

  4. What a cute piano student in that picture, btw! :)




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