Sunday, May 15, 2016

Spring 2016 Piano Recital

Our movie themed spring recital was held over the weekend. My sister took some wonderful shots of the event!

The program covers featured the winning original art from the recent coloring contest. The multi-colored title was inspired by the rainbow motive in the artwork.

I played "As Time Goes By" from Casablanca  as a prelude to the recital.

During the welcome speech, I passed out the bracelets made from beads collected during the bead practice incentive.

 There was a lot of positive feedback about the bracelets from the piano moms :) 

About half (8) of the students on my roster were able to attend the recital. I was very impressed with each and every one of them. Faith Lutheran Church has a beautiful piano, and I know that my students enjoyed playing it.

I noticed that the bench was a bit low for some students, so I'm planning to purchase a portable, adjustable bench for next time!
The Rose
Meet the Flintstones

Time of My Life
Scooby Doo
Over the Rainbow
It Might As Well Be Spring

Following the recital, there was a light reception downstairs, and the students were able to collect their awards.
Red Roses & Movie Clapboard

Popcorn Boxes to fit our movie theme

During the recital, friends and family filled out cards as part of a compliment exchange that were collected during the reception. At lessons this week, I plan to share that feedback with each student. I created these cards with keywords from the compliments that they received (inspired by Tracy Selle's post), and typed out the compliments in their entirety on the back of the cards. Each card is 4"x6", perfect for a picture frame, photo album, or other keepsake journal.
Compliment Cards & Box

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Recital Program Cover Coloring Contest

Congratulations to the winner of our recital program cover coloring contest! 

And a big thank you to each student that participated! 
The designs are all so creative!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Bead Practice Incentive

We've been participating in a 10 week long practice incentive that involves beads! It was inspired by a post from an innovative colleague, Becki Laurent, that I adapted to fit the needs of my students.

To start the challenge, I created this practice chart:

I wrote the weekly assignments under the proper headings, and my students would color in a bead for each day of practice per category. Seven bonus points could be earned when a student completed an activity that went beyond the lesson assignment (i.e., attend a concert and bring a program to your lesson; learn a song on your own and play it at your lesson, etc.). 

The end goal of earning beads was to make a bracelet for mothers/grandmothers/guardians as a special keepsake and thank you for encouraging their children to practice and for bringing them to lessons. To ensure it remained a "surprise", students could trade-in their beads for prizes! Twenty beads could be exchanged for a Shopkins figurine or Japanese puzzle eraser. Gifts cards in varying amounts could be purchased with a greater amount of beads (50 for $5, 100 for $10, and 200 for $20). At the very end of the lesson, each student would count the beads that were earned during the previous week and toss them into a sandwich bag. I wrote the amount of beads earned, and subtracted beads when trade-ins were made on the bag. I never actually took beads out of the bags, though, since I was saving them to make the bracelets. 

I found the beads at Michaels and Joann Fabrics. Since this incentive was planned since last year, I was able to shop sales and use coupons to get some beautiful beads at a reasonable price. The beads were kept in a mason jar on top of the piano. 

This article and the embedded tutorial were very helpful when it was time to assemble the bracelets for presentation at the recital. It's not in the tutorial, but I decided to add crimp covers to the bracelets to make them look more professional. Here are the finished products, each bead representing time spent practicing:

The bracelets vary in size depending on how many beads were earned during the incentive. I think they all look beautiful, and I can't wait to present them to my students' mothers at the recital!