It’s time to whip your piano students into shape – it’s recital season! A successful recital is a recital filled with piano students who know their pieces inside out and backward. More often than not, their recital pieces are played from start to finish at home… but what happens if they need to re-start mid-piece? Or if someone makes a distracting sound in the middle of their performance? Or if the book falls off of the piano? Your piano students need a boot camp-like approach to be ready for any scenario.
So – grab a stopwatch and put on your best drill sergeant face. We’re sharing a fun circuit-training routine you can do to double-check that your piano students are truly ready for their upcoming piano recital. Are you ready? Sir, yes sir!
Recital Prep Bootcamp
This circuit should be completed during lesson time approximately 2-4 weeks prior to your scheduled performance (and repeated as necessary). It’s a quick and easy way to cover all of your bases, takes some of the nerves away during recital preparation time, and is a silly yet effective way to prepare your students for an upcoming performance.
It’s simple to execute. Your student begins in a chair across the room (as though they are in the audience). You bark out the orders in your best “army voice” and they hop to it as fast as they can. Time them… kids are motivated by a stopwatch!
Piano Recital Circuit Training
(Student is sitting in a chair across the room, you call out each of the directions below)
1. Race from your chair to the piano bench. Announce your piece title and the composer.
2. Race back to your chair. Sing the right-hand melody to “la la la” for the first 3 bars.
3. Race back to the piano bench. Play the final note or chord of your piece. Shout out the note your right hand is playing.
4. Turn backward on the piano bench. Clap the rhythm of the first bar of the right hand.
5. Stand up and give me your most professional bow.
6. Sit properly on the bench and play me the first 2 lines of your piece with as much dynamics and expression as you can muster.
7. Return to your chair. Tell me the first 3 notes your left-hand plays.
8. Race to the piano bench. Start at the bar I am pointing to and play to the end.
9. Play the right hand only of the entire piece with your eyes closed. No peeking!
10. Stand up and play the left hand of the final 3 bars of the piece while standing.
11. Give me your most professional bow.
12. Play through your entire piece while I make rustling, coughing, crinkling and baby crying sounds behind you.
13. Stand up and announce your piece title and the composer.
14. Play the first line of your piece, but start one note higher than is written and transpose accordingly.
15. Play the bar I am pointing to 4 times in a row.
16. Sit back in your chair. Tell me the key signature of your piece.
17. Race to the piano bench. Play through your piece until I yell STOP!
18. Stand up, spin in a circle 3 times. Return to the bench and continue playing from the bar I just stopped you at.
19. Give me your most professional bow.
20. Stand up while playing the first two lines of your piece.
STOP! Record your student’s time. Can they beat their time next week? Can they be more accurate? You can bet they won’t forget any of this come recital day! 🙂
Is your student loving this break from the norm? We include physical activities like this one in our practice book “Shhh…Your Piano Teacher Thinks This is Practice”. You’ll have 88 fun activities to break free from the same-old-same-old right at your fingertips! Purchase once and print forever with our unlimited copies license.