By Dr. Julie Knerr

This past Saturday one of my students in Piano Safari Level 2 played her Mini Recital.

What is a Mini Recital?

A Mini Recital is a recital solely for that student, with family and friends in attendance. I don’t know if you had the same experience that I did, but my first time playing a solo recital featuring only me was my Senior Recital in college. It was terrifying!!! Why not begin playing your own solo recitals when you are young?

Ingredients for a Mini Recital:

  • Student with 6-12 pieces prepared
  • Family and friends
  • Mini Recital Program
  • Mini cupcakes!

How Long is the Mini Recital:

Since my student is 8 and in Piano Safari Level 2, her pieces are quite short. She prepared and memorized six pieces. Her parents, brother, grandma, grandpa, and two of her friends attended. The recital lasted 5 minutes. The cupcake-eating lasted 15 minutes. Start to finish, the whole thing lasted only 20 minutes. It was a very memorable and special experience for my student. She worked hard and saw it pay off in the pride she felt for a job well done, and, or course, in the cupcakes.

I think many teachers do not hold Mini Recitals because of the scheduling considerations. The recital only lasts 5 minutes, and it hardly seems worth it to schedule a solo recital for something so short. But for a young student, preparing six or more pieces, concentrating to play each one, and knowing the spotlight is only one you is a huge accomplishment. I think the scheduling and time and cupcake baking are well worth the benefits of having a student prepare and present a Mini Recital. Plus I got to eat the leftover cupcakes myself. (There weren’t many. We were shocked that my student’s brother ate 8 mini cupcakes in the space of 2 minutes!!)

Another fun benefit is that my student brought two friends, and after the cupcakes, they were all jamming on the piano.

The video below shows excerpts from the Mini Recital.

She played five pieces from Piano Safari Level 2, Shadows at Dusk, and she also played an encore of a pop song she and her friend figured out on their own. (She even harmonized it herself!) That is not included on the video because of copyright issues, but I always love when students take initiative to figure out pieces on their own.