Performing is an integral part of the program and "stage fright" is not in our vocabulary! I prepare my students thoroughly by teaching them solid technique and helping them choose pieces they can perform beautifully. I incorporate performance coaching into lessons and group classes to support students of all temperaments as they learn to be confident onstage. Before each solo recital, students perform for each other in several informal settings, then rehearse with our accompanist. By the time they walk onstage, they are ready to welcome the extra little buzz performing provides and share their piece with a supportive audience!
How to choose a recital piece
For solo performances, I help you choose a memorized, polished piece 6-8 weeks before the recital. Typically, students don't perform their newest piece, but instead choose something that they can play with ease. I help you bring it to the highest musical and technical level possible and help you make a performance plan for confident stage presence and connection with the audience.
I require students to rehearse with the accompanist before performing so they can have the best possible experience onstage. Professional piano accompaniment is included in tuition. Our accompanist is Allyson Kramer. In the week before a solo recitals, I schedule a 4-hour block of rehearsal times at University Heights Cetner so you can practice with Allyson in a nice large space with good acoustics. Your rehearsal time will be an appropriate length for your repertoire and playing level. If you can't make it to the rehearsal schedule, you can arrange to rehearse with Allyson in her studio in West Seattle and pay her separately.
When you finish a Suzuki book, you get to perform a book graduation recital! Often, I group students together and they perform a joint graduation recital during their group class. However, students have also done house concerts and Farmer's Market busking adventures!
When you finish Books 1, 3, 5, 7, and 10, you submit video yourself performing a specific piece from that book. You send your graduation recording to SAWS (Suzuki Association of Washington State) and get comments and a beautiful trophy. Deadline: June 1. The statewide graduation concert and awards ceremony is the second weekend of October at the SAWS festival in Ellensburg.
- Everyone should take part in one supplementary musical event per year outside of my studio and their school music program: contests, festivals, camps, Suzuki Institutes, workshops, etc.
- Suzuki Fall festival, first or second weekend of October: http://suzukiwashington.org/fall-festival
- Japan-Seattle Suzuki Institute, second week of August: https://www.japanseattle.org/
- Solo & Ensemble: encouraged for all students grade 6 and up. Sign up through your public school music program. You will hire an accompanist and rehearse at least once beforehand.
- All-State Auditions: encouraged for grades 7-12. Submit your recording online October 1. Talk to your public school music teacher.
- Seattle Young Artists Music Festival, third week of March at the UW campus: https://syamfa.org/ A wonderful experience for intermediate and advanced students grades 5-12. You get a 1-hour class during the day that week, during which you perform your piece and get a short lesson with a world-class adjudicator. Several other students share the class. You need to have studied with me for at least one year and should be practicing about an hour daily. Choose your repertoire by November and memorize it. You will hire a professional accompanist and rehearse at least twice beforehand and perform your piece(s) at least once before the festival.
- Plan to attend one live, professional-quality classical concert per year.