There is a lot to do in preparing for a recital. My recital preparation process for me starts at least five months in advance. I like to prepare ahead of time so I'm not scrambling at the last minute to take care of what needs to be taken care of. Here is my process:
First, I secure the event space. I make sure the venue space is available when I want to have the recital date, formally ask for permission and pay the deposit. They also require me to provide insurance coverage for that particular event so I have to go to my insurance company and have them prepare the paperwork. After I get permission to have the recital from the venue, I inform my students and families right away with a "Save the Date" flyer.
Secondly, I start thinking about what I want the students to play. I choose recital pieces based on:
1. Challenging the students, but also wanting them to be comfortable with the piece and feel successful. I think about their current skill level and what I would like them to work on in terms of skills.
2. Varying each piece. I don't like repetition of pieces in recitals, so I make sure that each student plays something different.
3. I may give a choice to some, not open-ended, like a choice between 2 different pieces, etc. so they feel like they are a part of the preparation process.
4. I usually start working on the pieces with the students about 3 months prior to the recital.
Thirdly, I think about the decor/decorations I would like to have and the food for the recital.
As the recital date comes closer, I will work on the programs and certificates for the recital. I will also continue to remind the students and families about the recital date by adding it to each newsletter. In addition, I like to do a recital prep day about a couple weeks ahead of time to work on things like, walking up to the piano, playing the piece all the way through, practice bowing, etc. I try to make this day fun by providing donuts.
Although, preparing for a recital can be a lot of work, I believe it is well-worth it in the end.