For the past few years I have concentrated on creating performance opportunities for students, crafting different events in our studio calendar to support the growth and diversity within our studio. We now have Performance Parties, Recitals, Concerts and Panel Performance Day. This range of events throughout the year allows for different skills to be acquired and 7 opportunities to perform to an audience.
The combination of events is working well for students and teachers, I think we have found the balance that is right for us. Aside from students seeing other students perform and some of our teachers, students really weren’t getting much in the way of other live music unless parents were already sourcing such shows.
This year I have decided to highlight more live music viewing opportunities available in our local community. In South Australia, we have several fabulous festivals each year and there are so many shows on that are exceptional for the students in our studio to go and see.
Firstly, our studio has a close relationship with a local amateur musical theatre company, the Marie Clark Musical Theatre Company. Earlier this year they staged Calamity Jane and will later do Young Frankenstein. I saw this as a fabulous opportunity to take a group of students to a musical theatre production. Most of the interest came from teenage and adult students, so we arranged an evening group booking and 13 of us went out for the night! Students were able to talk to the Musical Director, see in the orchestra pit and meet the Director and Choreographer during the interval. It was an excellent way for them to learn more about musical theatre and gain some insight into the workings of an orchestra pit.
Then we decided to focus on events locally that appeal to a younger audience. In Adelaide we are spoilt with our exceptional symphony orchestra. The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra Learning Program has a brilliant range of events and shows for children, ranging from kindergarten age to high school students! Most recently, the ASO teamed up with Jay Laga’aia for ‘Meet the Orchestra’ this show was aimed at children aged 3-8 and introduced children to instruments of the orchestra. I decided this was a show I definitely wanted to take my children to, and if that was the case then perhaps other families might want to join us!
So last weekend we went to the Grainger Studios to meet the orchestra with our students. It was wonderful. Here is the brief run down of what was in the show:
“Actor and singer Jay Laga’aia returns to present a vibrant show, including the much loved Peter and the Wolf by Prokofiev. Students will discover the unique musical signatures that represent each character in the story. Children can participate through song and movement as they are introduced to the instruments and sounds of the orchestral families”
The children loved it. It was wonderful to see them interacting and the fascination on their faces. I enjoyed watching the members of the orchestra as they played while children danced, unreservedly, in front of them. It was joyous! Such a great way to introduce children to the sounds of the orchestra and what all of these fabulous instruments can do.
Here is a little taste test of the backstage antics:
So now I’m on the hunt for another event later in the year to highlight to our students. It’s a great way for parents to be aware of what is out there and available that they may not have known about otherwise. It is also a fantastic way of supporting local performers.