Many of my students are ‘first generation’ musicians, meaning that they come from families where no one learnt an instrument. Consequently, there usually isn’t a culture of concert attendance in their families. Access to live music is vital for inspiring students, reminding them of the results of countless hours of practice, teaching them performance etiquette and refreshing their interest and passion. As the start of the New Year approaches, I find my mail box and inbox filled with concert programs for the upcoming year. As I receive this information, I scan through the concerts and compile a list of performances to recommend to my students.
This list of recommended performances is included in my first newsletter of the year. I write a brief blurb about each concert, making reference to the style or genre and the performer, so that parents can decide if the performance is appropriate for their child. In the weeks leading up to a concert that I think is particularly of interest, I will often send out a reminder group email. This is very easy to do via the Music Teachers Helper email function. Using this function, I can also glance through my list of students and ‘tick the box’ of the students who I believe would most benefit from a particular performance. I also like to include YouTube links of the performer or repertoire in these emails.
As a follow up to these performances, I always discuss them with my students in the next lesson. If any students are interested, they are welcome to contribute a short review of the performance in my next newsletter. This helps students to think critically about the music they have heard and aids in developing a musical vocabulary to express their ideas.
If you have any further ideas on developing a concert attendance culture in your studio, please leave a comment below.
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