Every year, many of my piano and voice students participate in our local Junior Festival, hosted by the Illinois Federation of Music Clubs. Preparation for Festival begins in November when they choose their pieces, and then they work hard for the next four months learning, memorizing, and perfecting.
Needless to say, it’s a stressful time of year not only for my students, but for me as their teacher! The Festival is held over two weekends in late February, and it is only afterwards that we can all breathe a little easier.
I like to celebrate my students’ successes following Festival season, even if just in a few simple (and sometimes silly) ways. More than anything, I want them to know how proud I am of their hard work and performances.
A token of my appreciation. I have lots of students, so I have to keep these tokens small. Last year, I wrote personalized cards and gave each student a little bag of gold-wrapped chocolate coins (sticking with the “gold” theme since a handful receive their gold cups).
Repertoire of choice. After months of practicing their assigned pieces, my students love having the opportunity to play “fun” songs of their choosing. I have to admit that it’s a nice change of pace for me, too!
Fun with technology. I am big on incorporating technology in my studio, which my students enjoy as well. I have made videos of many of them performing their Festival pieces, which they help me edit and then we share with their families.
Wall of fame. I have a bulletin board hanging in my studio featuring photos of my students and their various musical accomplishments. These include level completions in their books, performances they are a part of, and of course, Festival certificates.
Do your students participate in Junior Festival, and if so, how do you celebrate their successes? I’m sure my own students would appreciate a few fresh and fun additions to my list!