Performance Workshops: Fall 2021
What is a Performance Workshop?
It’s a group class in which mixed-age groups of students from all teachers gather together to learn from each other and to celebrate each other’s progress. We practice performing for each other; we practice listening to, and learning from, everyone’s performances; we explore broader musical concepts; and we play games and have fun! Our Workshop program is the heart of our Studio community!
Our Workshop program over the years
Before March 2020…all classes were in-person! Most classes were two hours long with a festive sweet treat snack break in the middle. Since March 2020…we’ve been experimenting and adapting the program to our coronavirus lifestyle! The following information describes how we will operate the program for the 2021-22 School Year. Our hope is to clearly explain the program on one short page, and then not have to make many changes as the year goes along.
Class length for 2021-22
New this year, classes will last between 70 and 90 minutes with no break. Our target is 75 minutes but we need the flexibility to run long to ensure every student is able to perform. Students must join on time and be prepared to stay with us for the entire class, up to 90 minutes. (Exception: JUNIOR classes for ages 6 to 10 will always end at 70 minutes.)
New this year, we plan for most classes to be in-person in our Falls Church studio. We will also offer a small number of remote-only classes for those who may have the need. We do not plan any hybrid classes.
Classes are scheduled by sign-up
Classes meet most Saturday afternoons and selected other times from late September to mid-May. Find the sign-up via pianowitz.com/for-our-students. Log on, then navigate to Calendar. You are in control of how often and when you attend class. If you have trouble with the online sign-up, call or email Mr. Horowitz. We’ll do the sign-up for you, no problem! If you want to sign-up but you can’t because all the slots are taken, call or email Mr. Horowitz. We’ll do our best to make space for you! [Fall sign-up available by 9/20; winter/spring sign-up available by 1/15.]
Canceling or changing your sign-up
While there is no penalty for canceling your sign-up at any time, please be sensitive. Late cancellations are disruptive! In addition, because space is limited in our schedule, when you sign up for a class, you are reserving a spot which might otherwise be used by another student.
Junior, younger, older, and themes
When viewing the sign-up, you will see that the classes have broad age groupings. We suggest that less-advanced students join the younger groups, and that advancing students and all 8th graders choose the older groups. Students aged 16-18 have the added flexibility of choosing to sign up for our Sunday evening Adult Open Rehearsals (see below). A few classes have theme labels. Do not let this confuse you: when in doubt, sign up anyway!
To get the greatest benefit from this program, we encourage students to join us once every three to four weeks for a total of 7 to 9 classes per year. We suggest using classes for goal-setting and for the rehearsal of pieces for upcoming performances. Note that this level of participation is a recommendation, not a requirement. But with many years of detailed records, we can document a strong correlation between this level of participation and student retention, progress, and achievement.
New this year, we’re not requiring any minimum level of participation. However, in most cases, participation in our Studio recitals is open only to Workshop-participating students. Please see the separate Recitals Info sheet for details.
Do I have to play something in every class?
No, you do not! You should come anyway! You may attend class without performing. You can practice your critical listening skills and participate in the discussion of other students’ performances—not to mention the other activities we do during the class. Participation starts with showing up. At the same time, we do ask you to remember that the primary purpose of the program is to share prepared and memorized pieces with other students.
What does it cost?
All recitals and all Workshop classes are included within our regular monthly tuition rates.
New this year, once a student achieves two memorized performances, we’ll record their participation on our Workshops bulletin board. Those who join us five+ times and perform five+ different pieces from memory will be recognized with certificates of participation. (There are some common-sense limitations: pieces must be appropriate to the student's level, not performed by the student in a prior school year, and in most cases must be Level 2 or higher.)
The bottom line: This program is for you!
With few exceptions, students who participate actively in our Workshop program experience more growth in their skill than those who do not. Plus, students who practice performing in Workshops will be more comfortable and successful in their other performances. Students who practice listening in class will learn so much repertoire beyond their own, plus the language and process of musical discussion. Plus there is a tremendous, if indirect, benefit to feeling at home in our community. Join us!
Adult Open Rehearsal Workshops
Join together with interested adults as we explore learning, listening, and performance! In a friendly and welcoming environment, we talk about our pieces, perform for a warm and supportive audience, and learn how we can develop our playing through constructive suggestions. We also enjoy each other’s company, support each other’s journeys, and have fun!
Recital-quality performance is not required
These are open rehearsals, not recitals. We expect to hear pieces that are “in progress” in addition to those that are more “complete.” We welcome interested and serious students to share even brief sections of pieces. We want to hear, share, and celebrate the process of your learning and your incremental progress.
Flexible sign-up schedule
Workshops meet select Sundays: October 17, December 5, January 30, March 27, May 15. We meet and start playing at 7:30 PM. Our adult students have the option of choosing which classes to attend; you do not have to make a commitment for the whole year. Even if you are able to come to just one class, we still welcome you! To sign up, take a look at the online sign-up (log on to the Student Portal then navigate to the Calendar) or just email Mr. Horowitz or your teacher.
These classes are for adults. But we also invite youth age 16+ to join us.