Belated Thanksgiving wishes! Right before the holidays, the fall recital commenced. I had two students who were interested in performing. As a first year teacher, I’m pretty sure I was overly anxious making sure I exhibited correct teacher etiquette. If you’re wondering what that is—I’ve surmised it three stages: Recital Prep, During Recital, and Afterwards.
I know every teacher wants to make sure that their student feels comfortable performing. What I didn’t think (until I was there) is the following:
- Will my students be able to find me in the room? They want to know I’m there.
- How much is too much smothering? If there parents are already “calming” them, should I give tips, helpful advice, or just do a “best of luck” gesture.
- How do I give solid encouragement where they feel uplifted and it doesn’t sound like false praise.
I know I have a billion thoughts going on am I doing the right thing as a music teacher, if only due to this being my FIRST time seeing students that I’ve taught play. I never thought of any type of recital teacher etiquette before, and definitely replayed my past memories of when my early piano teachers attended my events. The range was everywhere. My earliest piano teacher was in the room, but she was not touchy-feely. She did give good assessments after I was done. Another teacher I had was the encourager, back rubber, and hugger all in a few minute span time. I definitely winged my own method of etiquette, tailored to my students, and hoped for the best.
My Recital Teacher Etiquette
I would definitely love your input! Any strategies or methods, or words of wisdom that you use with students during and afterwards would be appreciated. I personally went with what I felt would be beneficial to my students.
- Direct line of vision
- Took pictures (when appropriate)
- Met & talked with family
In the beginning, I hope I didn’t seem too standoffish, but I didn’t want to completely smother my student with attention (they have their family to do that), and I wanted to make sure if they needed me, they had a direct line of vision as to where I was standing. It was a full house. Secondly, I made sure to get some great snapshots when she received her certificate and right before she started playing. This particular student had her piece memorized. I was SUPER excited because she was one of the few pianist with pieces memorized. I think as a first year teacher, that’s my AHA! Success! moment. Anyway, she performed beautiful, and my little heart couldn’t take it afterwards when I was able to congratulate her and meet her family.
I also received a request from a teacher who inquired about the piece of repertoire I had chosen. That made me feel great! I think picking out interesting pieces matters so much during a recital.
I was sad I couldn’t stay and mingle because I had to jet back to the library. It did motivate me to make sure my students are prepared for the really big spring recital. I can’t wait!