Well our first Christmas mini-concert was a great success! What a fab way to round off the year.
The first mini-concert took place at my home on Sunday afternoon.
There is just something really special about having a recital in your own home. For years we’ve loved hosting Christmas parties which always end up around the piano, and I knew it would create happy memories for my pupils to enjoy a similar event.
This Sunday about 15 people attended, and next week I’m expecting another 20 – it’ll be nice and cosy! And a jolly good excuse for me to go to town on my Christmas decs! Yes, I have made a Christmas star every day this week….love crafting!
Performer Bingo (shhh…peer assessment in disguise)*
At the start of the concert we talked about some of the things that might make a performance stand out (smiling, dynamics, good posture, playing from memory) – things we cover during lessons in the run-up to a concert, so no nasty surprises. Each pupil got one of these Performer Bingo sheets:
They had to try and get at least one name in every snowball to be awarded a chocolate coin. It was lovely to share the completed sheets afterwards with their families so they could see all the positive things other children noticed about their performance:
*Nerd-alert: I wanted to introduce peer assessment, in a light and positive way, to foster early critical listening skills. They all listened and watched with intent and started to realise that a super performance is made up of lots of things. It also created a supportive atmosphere, and meant that they weren’t just focusing on their own performance once they’d played.
Lucky Dip for performing order
Instead of having a printed programme, we handed round a big Christmas stocking with everyone’s names in. Performers and audience members got to pull a name out to select the next performer. It’s fun and exciting to see who’ll be next, and with a small number of pupils it was easy to organise.
Time for some fun
Afterwards we headed to the kitchen for some cupcakes and drinks and the kids had fun completing a little Christmas Scavenger Hunt. Some of them hopped back onto the piano for a little bonus play without everyone watching. It was really nice to see them get to know each other, work as a team and for me to chat with their families.
The verdict: it’s a keeper!
Next Sunday we do it all over again with the other 9 pupils. I’ll continue to do my big concert in a church, in the Spring Term- it’s good to give them the chance to perform in both casual settings and more formal situations. The amazingly positive reaction from their families to our first Christmas mini-concert is what really made it for me. It feels good to go that extra mile