Game and Activity Based Suzuki Book Recitals

Game and Activity Based Suzuki Book Recitals

Today was the Suzuki Book 1 recital of a student of mine.  She had been taking piano for a year and half, starting last year with my daughter, and moving to my studio this past fall after my daughter left for college.

Two of my Suzuki teacher trainer mentors from Ann Arbor, MI (Armena Marderosian and Renee Robbins) introduced me to the concept of  Suzuki Book recitals.  When a child has finished learning all of the songs in a Suzuki Book, they throw their own solo recital.  In my studio, the recital is held in the home of the student, on their own piano.  I encourage the family to invite friends, family, and fellow studio students.  Usually, the parents treat it like a birthday party, complete with cake, snacks and beverages, and some small gifts.  I typically bring a CD of piano music that I think will interest the child as a graduation gift, but I have been known to give other items, like the Harvard Dictionary of Music, or even a metronome to replace a less than adequate one.

I encourage families to take ownership of the Book recital and find a twist that makes it unique to them.  Many students will keep the recital to the basics — a set of order of pieces with a program handed out to the audience members, but many other students rise to the challenge of making the recital even more fun. 

Removing Dry Erase Marker From Your Piano Keys

Removing Dry Erase Marker From Your Piano Keys

I was giving a piano lesson to an elderly woman who had never studied music before, and in an effort to help her understand the concept of one finger per piano key in a 5 finger position, I grabbed a dry erase marker (triple checking that it was such) and wrote the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5 on my key tops. (I couldn’t quickly find my skinny post-its to write on.)   The numbers greatly facilitated the rest of the lesson.

After she left, I attempted to wipe off the marker with a micro fiber cloth I keep handy near the piano.  To my dismay, most of the markings did not come off!  A moist cloth did not help, either.  I picked up the pen I’d used to check the details.  Yes, it was a dry-erase marker, yet it had written on it “indelible to porous surfaces.”