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#15169 - 06/06/00 02:56 PM Recital Etiquette
Dan Saydak Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 04/04/00
Posts: 268
Loc: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
I'm actually embarrassed to ask this, but nobody knows me, right? Last Sunday evening I had the thrill of playing in my first piano recital, in front of all the parents and grandparents etc! I played "Wade in the water" by Martha Meir, in a duet arrangement, with my 10 yr. old daughter Amy!!!!Anyways, when we were done, we were so excited/flustered/thrilled that we both forgot to bow!I noticed after that almost all the other students bowed after they played, and i felt like a bit of a doofus. What's the official bowing ettiquette for a recital? ( I told you this was a dumb question)

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#15170 - 06/07/00 05:10 PM Re: Recital Etiquette
MelissaB Offline
Regular Member

Registered: 04/24/00
Posts: 56
Loc: Churubusco, IN
Dan - Congratulations on performing successfully in the recital with your daughter! That's a great memory for both of you to have. As for forgetting to bow - I wouldn't worry about it. Yes - you are to bow afterwards to acknowledge the audience's applause, but I TOTALLY understand the feeling of accomplishment after playing, hence forgetting the bow. A couple of my students forgot to bow as well, but it is really nothing to get upset about. Some people may have noticed, but I'm sure that no one is going to take out a full page ad in the local paper announcing this!

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#15171 - 06/08/00 10:34 AM Re: Recital Etiquette
Eric Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/04/00
Posts: 2325
Loc: New York, NY
I have my students bow after they have completed, but I'm never quite sure what to have them do if they are playing more than one piece. Bowing after every single piece seems kind of lame, especially when they're often very short pieces. But it's rude to have them just sit and ignore the applause they're getting. In the past I've had them do a polite nod of the head after each piece, and a full bow after the final one. What do you guys do?

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#15172 - 06/12/00 07:45 PM Re: Recital Etiquette
Eric Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/04/00
Posts: 2325
Loc: New York, NY
Sorry, Renelle, I think the curtsey is no longer in use. It's cute and old-fashioned to have the girls curtsey, but when's the last time you saw a concert artist demonstrate a lovely curtsey after a fine performance? Well, alright, Andre Watts comes close, but otherwise everyone just bows!

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#15173 - 06/12/00 07:55 PM Re: Recital Etiquette
Christa Rapp Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 05/27/00
Posts: 105
Loc: Jackson, Missouri
My students also bow (both girls & boys). They are given a set of rules to follow for the recital and they ALL follow them. I simply tell them it is one day and many people come to hear them play both affiliated with the studio and people wanting to hear some good music. The girls are required to wear dresses or skirts and believe it or not they do.

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#15174 - 06/12/00 08:45 PM Re: Recital Etiquette
Marcia Vahl Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 04/25/00
Posts: 161
Loc: Brooklyn Park, MN, USA
This is how Carol Noona teaches her students to bow (gave this tip in an open teacher forum at an expo I attended last year):

Tell the students to roll their head down to look at their shoes and say (dramatically) to themselves, "I LOVE my shoes!" then the bow is over and they can lift their head.

I shared this with my students at the first group lesson last fall. They giggled quite a bit, but now they always bow with a smile on their face! Parents love it, too!

All my students bow. Girls are required to wear DRESSY pants or skirts & dresses. All are cautioned to wear "Sunday best" and that pretty much has taken care of it. I don't discount the value of proper appearance, but on the other hand, what is more important, looking just right, or playing really well?

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#15175 - 06/15/00 06:17 AM Re: Recital Etiquette
Josh Allen Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 06/15/00
Posts: 534
Loc: East Texas, USA
Thought I'd put my $0.02 in

Like the rest of the members, I ask my students to wear ONLY what they would wear to church (However, I have to be specific sometimes...you'd be surprised what people will wear to church )

Etiquette is stressed, and my beginner students are required to attend another area recital before performing--I offer to attend with them and make it clear to only attend recitals open to the public (not a prob since most of our area teachers do this)...this gives the student an opportunity to observe recital behavior, both good and bad.

I always instruct my students to enter from the left/bass side of the keyboard/stool. If they feel the stool should be adjusted, they should preferably do so while standing to the SIDE of the bench, as opposed to in front of it--Even I don't quite know what the appropriate way to adjust a piano bench is--any suggestions?

Then, the student is to sit with hands in lap and play the scale of the piece in their head and think over tempo, markings, etc. Then they arch their hands onto the piano and position their feet (on the pedals or flat on the floor--NEVER under the stool) and proceed to play (the most important part! )

If playing more than one piece, the student should acknowledge applause in between with a nod or smile. Then, when finished playing, and after arching the hands off of the keyboard into their lap, they rise and stand at the edge of the piano (with left hand on the wood)--then they place their left foot back while politely smiling at the audience (some prefer to look downward during the bow). This is a very simple bow that avoids any Elizebethan (sp) dramatics or strange nuances

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#15176 - 06/15/00 09:35 AM Re: Recital Etiquette
Lisa Kalmar Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/10/00
Posts: 4277
Loc: KC
We practice this stuff all year at group classes because I'm an anal-retentive stickler for this sort of thing. I have them bow, and I am *fanatic* that they do not do a bow with the hand on the stomach. One of Dr. Lisa's pet peeves! I dramatically and realistically demonstrate to them that this is really the International Symbol for Stomach Distress. They, of course, love this element of their musical education. They also look forward to recital preparation each year because it means we administer the long awaited and whispered about Concentration Test. I select two ahem appropriate students to provide distractions while another plays the recital piece to see if they can make it through. We get up and ring the doorbell, use cell phones, announce loudly (like a younger sibling) that we have to "go", crawl under the piano, imitate apes, all sorts of bizarre acivities designed to test the concentration of the hapless,not to mention convulsed with laughter performer. Great fun and it really does help them. Another thing we practice is getting up from the piano bench without aiming our bums at the audience. This gives Dr. "Big Bottom" Lisa another performance opportunity that she believes rivals Carol Burnett.....

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#15177 - 06/15/00 11:27 AM Re: Recital Etiquette
Eric Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/04/00
Posts: 2325
Loc: New York, NY
Lisa, your students are so fortunate to have you as a teacher! It sounds like you make learning a total blast, and who wouldn't want Carol Burnett for an instructer?
Josh- I have them (as I posted earlier) do the nod-and-smile routine after each piece until they do a formal bow after their whole "set". I think they always look dorky doing this. One teacher posted that the audience holds their applause til the end. Are there any other ideas out there as for what to do before the final bow?
Josh, I ask my students to do just the opposite, entering from the TREBLE side of the piano but without facing upstage. Also,when it comes to bench adjustment, I have them do that *after* they are seated. Different strokes, I guess!

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#15178 - 06/15/00 05:25 PM Re: Recital Etiquette
Lisa Kalmar Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/10/00
Posts: 4277
Loc: KC
Aw shucks - you guys are making me blush. The truth is, I'll do anything for a cheap laugh. I pretend fainted onetime during a partner lesson of two boys when they played a duet perfectly and one thought they should call 911! (learned my lesson on that one - now I come to a lot faster!!!)

My fitness list has annual road trips. Wouldn't it be cool to have a Faber & Faber teacher road trip for Piano Adventures internet junkies? I think it would be so cool to get to hear the Fabers lecture on specific lessons, etc.,get to ask questions about things, and hear other teachers solutions.

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#15179 - 06/24/00 10:38 AM Re: Recital Etiquette
Christa Rapp Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 05/27/00
Posts: 105
Loc: Jackson, Missouri
This is a Really dumb recital question, but nevertheless it IS a recital question. Do you as teachers play at your student's recitals? I have never played at their recital, but have had parents request it. I feel strange about playing on their day and haven't the nerves to play one on my own.

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#15180 - 06/24/00 12:50 PM Re: Recital Etiquette
Lisa Kalmar Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/10/00
Posts: 4277
Loc: KC
I would rather have a warm barium enema followed by a root canal than play on a student recital. But that's just me.

In the meantime, I tip my hat to all of you who do this. Break a leg!

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#15181 - 06/25/00 12:20 AM Re: Recital Etiquette
Joy123 Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 05/22/00
Posts: 566
I do NOT play at student recitals. I use my NERVES that day to try to put all my students at ease.

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