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Attractive Recital Programs

This is the season of the spring recital. We have always doubted the expediency of giving only one recital a year. In our own work in teaching, we found that it was far better to give several recitals during the year than to reserve all of our efforts for one big event in the springtime. However, many people look to the spring season as the time when the teacher should show what has been accomplished during the winter.

Your program will be made up of the works you have already rehearsed with your pupils. It is well to remember Mrs. Bloomfield-Zeisler’s advice in a recent issue, “Never play a piece in public until you have learned and relearned it at least three times.” But your program selections are by no means everything. The program itself should be as beautiful as your ingenuity and the printer’s art can make it. An attractive program is often carried home and it thus becomes the best kind of an advertisement for you. Your pupils will also send an attractive program to their friends, whereas, if the program is carelessly arranged, and has no one distinctive point to draw attention to it, you will lose this advertising value of the program.

With all due respect to printers, we would advise you to depend upon your own originality and ingenuity for any novelty you may desire to incorporate in your program. If you leave the matter entirely in the printer’s hands you will doubtless have as a result some commonplace arrangement that the printer will assure you is “all the go” and which will really go into waste paper baskets. Secure a good printer and make it clear to him that you want the program set up in as artistic a manner as possible. Then try to introduce some novel feature. We receive thousands of programs during the year. Once in a while we find one that shows that the teacher has done some thinking before having it printed. One teacher for instance secured a number of very popular pictures at a trifling cost. The pictures measured five by eight and one-half inches. She had her program of pieces, played by little children, printed on the backs of these pictures. It is unlikely that one of the children destroyed a program. Without the picture it would simply have been a piece of paper to be cast aside or torn up at the first opportunity.

Composer programs illustrated with half-tone cuts of the composer’s portrait and made additionally interesting by notes on the composer’s life and upon the pieces to be performed are always practical. Many teachers who expect to have a limited number of auditors, prepare their own programs by writing the numbers plainly upon a blank form that comes expressly for this purpose and then binding these forms with hand-painted covers. One teacher used the kind of material of which window shades are made for cover purposes, and it made a surprisingly pretty cover indeed. Others use different kinds of stiff paper for this purpose, and we are continually delighted with the taste and ingenuity shown by our readers who send us programs.

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