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  • Stephanie Veber

2020 and a new kind of recital...




This year was always going to be a bit 'different'. This year, we here in Victoria began the year aware of all-engulfing bushfires in regional towns, and the threat of some little known virus that was beginning to spread in faraway places. I began this year of teaching piano thinking that it was going to be like any other year. Unfortunately, I was very wrong. Quickly, we had to adapt to teaching piano online - not quite the same as teaching in person but a necessary change nonetheless. Then, we were given a few weeks' hope after Melbourne's lockdown 1.0 when face-to-face teaching could resume only to have it all go backwards again. This second lockdown has felt impossibly long and difficult! I'm so sad that I haven't seen many of my students in person except for occasionally bumping into some in the streets around my home as many live in closeby suburbs.



Then, the memories of the mid-year recitals I've held with another teacher, Carolyn Tran, got me feeling nostalgic and hopeful. We began planning a virtual recital and, last Saturday the 19th of September was the day! We had approximately 34 students from both of our studios perform, as well as our teacher performances at the end. Normally this recital is held at the Melbourne Grand Piano Warehouse in West Melbourne, the students play on a $250K beautiful grand piano on a little stage in the back of the store. It's an incredible space and an even more incredible experience for our students.


This time, however, minor technical difficulties aside, we managed to pull off our recital via Google Meets. We have both received overwhelmingly positive responses from the families involved and all were so happy that we organised this recital in this way. One major positive from this has been allowing students' grandparents and family members from far away to tune in and watch their performances when they would not normally be given the chance. This means that moving forward, Carolyn and I will endeavour to include live streaming in our in-person concerts so that those both near and far can enjoy the performances. I am so proud of how well my students performed and I know that they all left the virtual recital full of inspiration and eager to practise more. Fingers crossed these feelings of motivation last!


I am still hopeful that with easing restrictions and declining case numbers, in December I might be able to host a mini-recital for some or all of my students as I normally do at the end of the year.

Here's hoping that the last few months of 2020 brings us some positivity!



Please enjoy some photos from past recitals, as well as some from our latest virtual recital.