Preparing nearly fifty students for a formal piano recital is a lot of work for everyone involved, especially when it happens twice a year! It's a valuable experience for the students who perform, and a lovely event for us all... but for all that, formal piano recitals are not my favorite way to share music. My favorite way to share music is usually in a living room, or maybe a small bar or cafe where I can have a cold or hot beverage on hand. I wanted to attempt to do something like this with my students. Open Mic Night version 1.0 didn't have any alcoholic or caffeinated beverages, but it was definitely informal and a ton of fun. And not only was the event a ton of fun, but preparing and brainstorming and practicing for it was a ton of fun. Students composed songs, some serious and some goofy, and they arranged duets with friends and parents, and one student geared up for her debut as a chanteuse. The kids were excited and invested - wow!
Two cool things that I am proud of: 1) The students and I arranged or composed or improvised almost everything for this event ourselves. 2) Lots of students involved friends and family in their acts. That, in a nutshell, is my kind of music!
Here is a sampling of the performances:
I am already looking forward to crafting my next Open Mic Night - version 2.0.