A great deal of preparation and thought goes into organising each of our concerts; from what songs to sing, to rehearsal schedules, to coordinating performance logistics.
Throughout the years of planning and performing student events, there are a number of techniques we return to again and again to create inspiring shows, while ensuring rehearsals run as smoothly as possible.
Today Sally Gawley, one of our specialist educators at the Australian School of Performing Arts, shares her top three tips for creating show stopping school concerts.
Tip 1. Select material that’s achievable AND relevant to the audience.
Complexity is a wonderful thing to aim towards, but if the kids aren’t going to be successful then singing in unison without harmonies will be much more fun for the students to rehearse. Similarly, focusing on your audience when selecting your songs is a fantastic jumping off point. The audience at an aged care facility will be entertained by different music than if your students are performing for one another at the assembly. Reverse engineering your material in this way will ensure a captivated crowd.
Tip 2. Get the kids on board by building their skills and confidence.
Building your students’ skills alongside working on a performance is a great way to get them on board, by building confidence as you go. Forget trying to be ‘performance ready’ from day one, and instead focus on ways they can learn as they go. Brainstorm ways you could include characterisation in the warm ups, or games to use their bodies while learning a new song. If students feel they can accomplish the task for each rehearsal, then they can’t help but feel proud and keen to work on the piece.
Tip 3. Divide and conquer!
Look at the staff in your school and consider what job you can assign each of them. Many of the music teachers we work with feel as if the whole concert falls on their shoulders. But perhaps there are teachers around who can get involved. Can the PE teacher press play on each track? Can the office administrator help keep everyone quiet backstage, while the prep teacher emcees on concert night? You never know who in the school is admiring your project from afar, but has never thought they would take part. By assigning roles to your colleagues you’ll empower your community to pull it off together.
These tips are here to get your creative wheels turning. But you may be wondering, “How do I take these tips and make them relevant to the students in my classroom?”
We cover all of the more specific details in this month’s teacher training workshop called “Show-Stopping School Concerts”. It’s a professional development program for teachers, designed to help you plan, rehearse and present student concerts in your school.
Date: Friday, August 02, 2019
Time: 9.30am – 3.30pm
Location: 1st Kew Scout Hall, Kew
You can find all of the details on our Teacher Professional Development page.