Group Class Focuses on Performance

It’s been a while since I posted pictures, so I figured it was about time! The Thursday before Thanksgiving week, we held our third studio group class. We have four main areas we’re focusing on this year, and each group class highlights one of them. This one focused on performance. We started out with a game called Mirrors to emphasize the importance of watching and anticipating the leader in ensemble playing. For the remainder of the evening, we went back and forth between Performance Rounds and Presentation Planning Sessions.

For the Performance Rounds, each student played their prepared solo or duet while the other students listened and evaluated them on their overall performance etiquette using our tried-and-true performance signs. For the Presentation Planning Sessions, I divided the students into four groups of four students each and assigned them a topic related to performing. They were to brainstorm together as a group and come up with a creative way to present the topic to the rest of us. I pulled out my huge prop bag for this and let them use whatever they wanted for costuming and props. We had a ton of fun and even picked up a few helpful tips for our upcoming recital!

Here are the topics I gave them:

  • Every Piano Student Can Become an Excellent Performer!
  • How to Avoid Embarrassing Recital Experiences
  • Preparing for the Big Day
  • Tips for Conquering Nervousness


Group One has fun talking about their clever idea – a takeoff on the “shoulder angels” who give conflicting practice advice to the student preparing for an upcoming recital.


As the lead-in to their presentation, Joey helps Jed understand that the cello is not an over-sized violin and should not be played as such!


Andrew gives a helpful demonstration.


Tommy is a great emcee, giving each member of the group the cue for their part.


Hayley plays the part of a very shy student who lacks confidence.


Emily provides the contrast to the shy student by entering the room with a “Hi y’all!” and even proceeds to take a call on her cell phone mid-performance.


The fourth group gives helpful ideas on how to get rid of those pesky butterflies in the stomach. 🙂

Since I’m focusing a lot on collaborative music this year, I’m also trying to explore other ways that students can collaborate to work toward a common goal or objective. The students were incredibly creative with their ideas and really enjoyed working together to plan and execute these presentations!

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