Do you write your speech out before the recital day? Wing it once you’re on stage?
Let’s chat about all things when it comes to welcoming your guests to your recital.
Welcome Speech Alternatives
At first, I titled this post “Recitals: The Welcome Speech”, but then I thought “What if there was no speech at all?
How about these ideas where a welcome speech is replaced with something entirely different.
Picture this….moms, dads, family and friends have all taken their seats. The lights turn down and music begins to pump over the sound system. Students start jogging from the back of the recital hall, past the audience, onto the stage where they form a fun pose together and group pictures are taken before the performances begin.
How different would that be from the typical “Welcome, thank you for coming, let’s get started”?
Or how about these alternatives:
Have students work together to write a song about piano lessons that they play and sing as the recital opener. They may even like to add some simple choreography.
What if you had an announcer (think “LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE!”) who boldy proclaimed the start of your recital?
What if each student wrote a thank you to their parents for providing them with the gift of music? Then each student reads a phrase about why music is important to them. Have an intermediate or advanced student plays an inspiring lyrical solo while these are being read.
What if there were no official welcome at all, and the performance began with a Bucket Drumming piece? Even better, turn off the lights and the students use glow in the dark drumsticks.
While these ideas are more involved and will take more planning and rehearsing than your typical welcome speech, it may be the start of an unforgettable experience for your piano students and families. It’s sure to build excitement and buzz around your studio.
Now that we know a welcome speech isn’t the only option, here are some ideas if you will be giving a speech.
Depending on the type of recital you’re having, different welcomes may be appropriate.
A movie themed recital may call for something more dramatic, while a honors recital may be more professional. A personal and heartfelt reflection would be fitting for a senior showcase, while a Halloween recital may start with a spooky poem.
MY FIRST GROUP RECITAL
Here are the exact words I used at my first group recital last spring. I had held in-class performances, but this was the first time everyone was on stage together at the recital hall. It was a big deal! Lots of kiddos…lots of energy…and lots of fun!
Good afternoon everyone! Thank you for so much for coming and welcome to our Spring Piano Celebration! I’m so happy that you are with us this afternoon. It warms my heart to see how much support and love you show to our students. They have been working hard to prepare their songs and we are excited to share them with you.
Today is a celebration, not only of a wonderful group of young pianists….but a celebration of the joy of making music together. Every student today has not only prepared a solo, but also an ensemble where they will play as a member of a duet, a trio, or a quartet, or quintet.
While some students have been performing in recitals for several years, today 12 of our performers will be playing in their first ever recital! Some have been playing for just 5 months!
This year has been quite a change for both myself as a teacher and for the students. We’ve converted to a group lesson format where instead of one-on-one, students take weekly lessons with 2-4 other students.
Students are developing a strong listening ear…they are playing one part while their teammates are playing something different which is challenging! They are gaining independence in note reading and learning to play from both sheet music and chord charts.
Not only the musical benefits, but there life skills that are developing in group lessons–they are cooperating, problem solving, students have taken on leadership roles, they encourage and support one another, they cheer each other up when one is having a bad day. The interaction between them is heartwarming and inspiring. They teach me something every day and their energy is contagious!
They’ve also developed team identities. In the programs you’ll see the team names that the students have chosen for themselves. You’ll see each team represented with a different t-shirt color. We’ve got lots of team spirit and some teams even have their own cheer which you’ll get to hear 🙂
Before we get started, I’m going to ask that you silence your mobile devices.
Finally, I want to give a huge thank you to each and every piano parent. Thank you for entrusting me with your children every week. Thank you for valuing the role of music in their lives. Thank you for the time you invest in supporting your child at home. And thank you for including me in their lives. I feel so lucky and blessed that this is what I get to do for a living. Your kids are wonderful. I truly cherish them and our time together. Let’s get started!! Welcome to the stage…..
A FRIEND’S RECITAL
A teaching colleague and friend of mine invited me to her studio recital–we make it a habit to attend each other’s whenever possible. Attending another teacher’s recital has so many benefits.
If you’re the one holding the recital, seeing a friendly face there supporting you, who knows exactly what you’re going through, is a great feeling.
If you’re the one attending, you can lend a hand. My friend and I have traded taking pictures for each other, handing out programs, even announcing each other’s students!
Maybe you’ll discover a repertoire choice that would be perfect for one of your students or a cool arrangement you’ve never heard. And what’s the most fun is celebrating afterwards together!
Here is the recital speech that my friend, Lisa Henry, used at her recital and allowed me to share with you. You may remember Lisa from the Piano Teacher Pinterest Party.
Hello everyone and welcome to our spring recital. I’m so happy to see everyone here today; moms, dads, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends… We have a wonderful line up of performers to entertain you.
Today is a celebration; it’s the very first recital for some students and it’s the 15th recital for others! Our recital will showcase a variety of levels from young beginners to advanced students. This variety gives older students the opportunity to remember what it was like to be a beginner, and younger students get the chance to see what their hard work will enable them to accomplish in the future!
I feel so fortunate to teach such a special group of students. This past year has been full of learning, progress, and accomplishments. I just added up the numbers last night, and students in this studio have completed over 300 pieces this year! Perhaps even more impressive is that some students have composed original pieces of their own!
Finally, I’d like to take a moment to thank the parents. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to get to know your children and to work with them each and every week; they continue to amaze me with their intelligence, their energy, and their sense of humor. Thank you for recognizing the value of music in the life of a child. Thank you for the time you invest in supporting your child at home…and thank you for including me as a part of your child’s musical education.
Before we begin, I’d like to remind you that students placed at the end of the recital program have worked just as hard to prepare their performances as have students placed at the start. I would ask that you remain until the end of the program to ensure that all of these wonderful children experience the support and the full audience they deserve.
And now we’re ready to begin!
A senior recital is such a special way to honor and commemorate all the years of dedication for a piano student that sticks with their music studies throughout their entire high school career.
Welcome to tonight’s recital. Before we get started I would like to say what a blessing it has been to be a part of Brendan’s journey.
I have enjoyed seven wonderful years of making music with him and it is an honor to be his teacher.
Some students play piano and other make music–Brendan is one of those who is able to tell a story with his music and bring the notes to life. He creates an emotional experience when he plays and pours his heart into his songs.
Brendan has performed in multiple recitals, played keys in a rock band, and entered in music festivals earning multiple superior ratings in a number of different events. He is a hard worker who will do what it takes to achieve a goal once he sets his sights on it.
Not only does he excel in his playing, he understands the ins and outs of the theory behind the music. He has been a member of a quiz bowl team that competed in music theory knowledge. Brendan helped his team earn gold medals in back to back years as champions against teams across the midwest.
Not only are his musical accomplishments many, you all know he excels in academics and athletics as well.
Outside of his accomplishments, he is an all around wonderful young man with a big heart and a big future ahead of him.
Brendan, thank you for all you have taught me, and for the honor of being your teacher.
When scheduling recitals, it’s not always a guarantee that the date will work for all of your studio families. Some won’t be able to attend. When this happens, I suggest that those students organize a Family Recital. The parents open their home and invite grandparents, aunts and uncles, even neighbors and teachers. They can invite everyone they know or keep it small and intimate. I always let them decide and have the family to take charge of the planning.
This is a great alternative to missing the recital and not having a performance opportunity, especially after all of the work that goes into preparing their pieces.
The family can add their own touches to the recital in any way they’d like. I suggest having chairs set up for the audience, have the students prepare a program and introduce their pieces. Then after the performance have some refreshments to serve.
I almost like this format of recital best. It’s so personal! The students get to be on their own turf and be surrounded by everyone who is attending just for them. The student gets to play more pieces than they would in a studio recital and you get to know their family on a more personal basis.
What does all of this have to do with recital welcome speeches? At the most recent family recital I attended, the students prepared a welcome that they printed out for each of the attendees. It had the audience in laughter….here it is:
Isn’t that adorable?! Here’s a picture of the three students (siblings) who were featured at this particular family recital. Can you tell what our theme was? For all things SUPERHERO RECITAL related, stay tuned!! You won’t want to miss it!