If one of your primary goals as a teaching artist is to make music come to life for your students, you need to be putting on a pop recital! Check out my take on why I do this, and the importance of having a Pop Recital.
If this is your first time, congratulations! I firmly believe this will be the first of MANY pop recitals you will hold. The value added to your clients is enormous. I suggest a spring show so you can build toward this event, and when you do it the second year, it is something fun to look forward to for everyone.
RHYTHM PREP HELPFUL HINTS
Blog Post #2 in this Pop Recital series will focus exclusively on rhythm preparation with examples. You will be introducing a steady (simple) beat for the student to begin playing their song(s). If you aren’t sure of how styles work, listen to the snare part. Is the snare playing on 1 and 3, or 2 and 4? (It's cringe-worthy when the teacher is ill-equipped at listening to a rhythm selection when there is a swing beat going and the student is playing a straight rock tune. That's like pedaling a Clementi Sonatina, and swinging the eighth notes....Remember, you may not be trained in popular styles, but you ARE a musician! Use your ear. Remember grace...Don't expect perfection right away, for you or for your students.
Suggestion 1: The student should be able to put their intro and maybe the first verse with the rhythm the first week.
Suggestion 2: Your student will need to be able to play at a slower speed and work up to a performance tempo. Remember to start slow, and introduce a little rhythm over the course of a few weeks, rather than trying to do it all at once
Suggestion 3: Make sure you send home a practice track/recording for them to play along with! Ideally, your studio has a second instrument to play along with so you can comp some chords underneath, for the student to really hear what it’s like to have another person playing with them.
*Comping advice. If you are new to playing popular music, simply play LH 5ths or octaves with the chord in the RH, and no thirds.
*If there is a solo piano intro, it is unnecessary (and somewhat awkward) to have the student count off. Remember, you hired professionals. They’ll get it!
March/April - Showtime! Have fun!
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