We recently had an Open House Piano Recital with over 20 students participating, ages 5 to 88. It’s the most fun I and my students have had in a recital in years! Teachers, give this a try. And students, encourage your teachers to have an Open House Recital.
What is it? The concept I came up with is a marathon of continuous live music in 3 open rooms, with a central area for refreshments and socializing. This would work well in a home, church or school setting.
What did it look like? Between 4:00 and 5:00 students entered the front door of the home studio and were greeted with an enticing array of drinks and refreshments on the central counter. They began signing up one piece at a time on the clipboards at the 3 piano areas. Carrying notebooks with copies of their prepared pieces, student pianists moved among the Steinway grand in the living room, the weighted keyboard in the adjoining room, and the souped-up keyboard in the back room. Meanwhile, guests and family members mingled and listening, giving hearty applause and comments as pieces were presented. All snacked along as the afternoon progressed, coming and going as convenient. Students played as many pieces as they had prepared, generally around half a dozen or so, many by memory. We finished the Open House around 5:30.
What a variety show! The huge advantage was that in the same length of time as a typical one-piece-per-student recital, each player performed multiple times, informally without the pressure of a silent audience. They were racing off to the next piano, eager to play. And great interaction occurred among players as well as listeners.
Would we do it again? Certainly, this will be one of our quarterly recitals each year, in addition to duet recitals, theme and composer recitals, and Student’s Choice recitals. Would it work with other instruments? Yes, in fact additional students presented an Open House Flute Recital the following afternoon, with closed doors to minimize noise bleed between rooms.
So set up an Open House Recital! And would you send your feedback so we can continue to grow exciting music?