End of the school year, end of the piano year. How do you celebrate a year of in-person lessons, YAY!, in-person recitals, BRAVO!, and great successes? Throw a Piano Pizza Party, of course! I used to have a huge event, at the house, invite all my students, their families, prospects for next year. That's when I lived in a big house. Since I downsized, I hardly have room for all my students to gather.
But gather we did. Everyone had had a portion of a duet or a trio to learn. We only had a month to pull this together; our Spring Recital was May 1. These kids were awesome! The first performance was Ravel's Pavane for Sleeping Beauty, from The Mother Goose Suite, The two girls who performed had never played together. They are both accomplished young musicians. They read well, they learn quickly, and they played very well together. First read-through was a bit clipped. We listened to the suggested metronome marking and they played again, Wow! Yes, awesome!
The second performer was a youngster, She has limited recital experience, and was reluctant this evening. We agreed to skip the performance piece and jump to the party piece, Hungry Hippo. The primo section is all on black keys -- hey, I know this piece -- I played it with my friends when I was little! She learned the piece in the book, and I taught her a few additional verses. We had fun learning it, and we had fun performing it for the others. This little girl was ready to teach it to the other students in attendance! Maybe at another time; we had more music to play. In fact, she then played her performance piece, She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain, also a duet, very well.
The final presentation was Melody Bober's Prelude in G Major, a piano trio, meaning one piano, 6 hands! We all learned a lesson on preparedness with this one. The two outer voices had given adequate time to learning their parts; the inner voice, not so much. Hey, with the demands of end-of-the-year school activities, it is understandable that she just didn't have the time. She did her best, resorting to reading just one hand. Still, the piece didn't hold together. She and I changed places: I played the inner voice and she became the teacher. I too had not given it much prep time, but we pulled it off.
My new mantra this year has been Practice Makes Progress. These kids on Tuesday evening appreciate what that means. And their prize for their progress? Pizza! Funny, everyone had a chair for the performance half of the evening, but once the pizza came out, we all just sat on the floor. Some good conversation between bites let me know the evening was a success.