Honors Recital

The local Music Teachers Association started last year to have a yearly Honors Recital. The idea is that each teacher selects one or two students and has them perform in a recital, along with other teachers’ students. After the recital there are pictures and certificates, mention in the newspaper I think.

So, who gets to perform? Who is good enough to earn the honor of performing? How do you choose the student who is the best in your studio? Who represents your studio the best?

You might as well ask me what food represents me best.

Sure, there are teachers who have a “signature food”, a poster child, their star student. I don’t. I have a whole lot of students who are doing really well, as well as a couple few who are struggling, who are not even sure that they like piano. I do have a “bragging wall” where I display (copies of) certificates and awards my students have won at auditions and competitions. Most of my students are represented there.

So, how do I choose which one or two get to perform at the Honors Recital? The one who plays surprisingly well for his/her age? The one who made the most progress over the last couple months? The one whose mother needs the certificate to show to friends and family how good and exceptional and wonderful her child is?

Last year I selected one student, this year two. The students I ask are those who I think would benefit from a public performance outside of the piano studio. I choose students whose parents understand that I strongly dislike the notion of an exclusionary Honors Recital and that we are going to treat this as a performance opportunity that happens to have the unfortunate name “Honors Recital”.

I am looking forward to the performances we plan to give at a retirement community, where all of my students get the honor of performing and sharing their love of music.