“The most humanitarian cause that we can give our time to is the creation and performance of music. ” Billy Joel
One of the reasons that we learn to play an instrument is to share the gift of music with others by telling a musical story or helping to create a certain mood from pieces that speak to us. Music is how we celebrate and mark important occasions. It brings people together and builds a sense of community.
Preparation for performance calls for skills above and beyond lesson preparation for all ages and levels of students. Performance preparation becomes a key element of lessons when a program is planned, although performing is not required if either the student or family chooses to opt out.
Ann Arbor schools offer talent shows and other opportunities for students to perform for their friends and families.
The Ann Arbor Piano Teacher’s Guild offers several spring and fall recital opportunities for students. These programs are usually held at Kerrytown Concert house near the Farmer’s Market. Attendance at one (or two) group lessons prior to the performance is required. The Guild also offers a summer day camp for intermediate and advanced students interested in ensemble playing.
Schoolcraft College offers a summer piano camp, along with a Bach Festival in the fall and a Sonatina Festival in February where students from southeast Michigan perform and compete to play in an honors recital.
MTNA (Music Teachers National Association) has an annual competition for all age groups. Requirements include memorized performance of 2 or more pieces based on age. The first round is a videotape submission, followed by live performances at the state and national conferences.
Steinway and Sons has an annual junior (under 18) piano competition with cash prizes. The first round is submitted by videotape, subsequent rounds are in person.
The Royal Conservatory Achievement Program offers students an opportunity to perform pieces which have been prepared and be evaluated by an independent adjudicator. Points are awarded based on the performance and students who receive a passing score get a certificate.
Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp offers a 2 week summer program for students in grades 5-12. Students from all over Michigan and the surrounding states take lessons, participate in supervised practice, attend concerts and much more. Audition recording required.
Interlochen Summer Arts Camp offers 2 – 4 week summer programs for students in grades 3-12. Students from all over the US and other countries attend for an intensive musical experience. Audition recording required.
The Piano Academy (Schoolcraft College) Summer Program is a week-long day camp for students in the area. Students attend private lessons, group classes which explore electronic music and composition, and prepare a piece for a formal recital on the last evening.