1. Programs were printed on colorful paper and included each student's picture and a short bio.
2. Students warmed-up together with a Bb major scale. Through this, students had the opportunity to learn about intonation and how to adjust if they were out of tune. Then, students played the same Bb major scale in thirds. (For example, one student began with Bb and C, and then the next student joined in while the first student continued up the scale.) Since there were three students, the result was a rich blend of chordal harmonies.
3. Students had multiple opportunities to perform through the recital. Rather than having each student play all of his or her pieces at once, I created a program order in which students took turns performing one piece at a time. This kept students engaged throughout the recital.
4. At the conclusion of the recital, students sight-read two flute ensemble pieces. The first was a piece I composed entitled "First Flute Trio", and the second was the traditional Scottish tune "Loch Lomond." While sight reading "First Flute Trio," I first asked all the students to sight-read the Flute 3 part. Then, I asked a student to play the Flute 3 part while I played the Flute 2 part. Through this, family and friends in the audience could hear how the different parts of the trio fit together. When the students played through the entire trio (about 1 minute in length), their blended group sound was beautiful!
5. Each student received a trophy engraved with his or her name, their instrument, and the year. This was a unique way to recognize and celebrate each student's achievements.
6. Refreshments were served after the recital. We were fortunate that piano teacher Jamila Sahar shared with us her delicious chocolate cupcakes!
I believe the above elements all contributed to the success of our Spring Recital. In the future, I intend to incorporate these ideas, as well as new ones, to make each recital an exciting and memorable experience!