After the final bow and the music stops, it's natural to want to just MOVE ON and be done! However, I would suggest that there are a few things that you can do to really make your performance great and memorable for students, parents, administrators, and yourself. Here are five quick and easy ideas to help you as you wrap up and move along to something new.
Concert Evaluation for Kids
1) Use the video. If you record your concert, then plan to show that video to students the following day. This makes things REALLY easy for you in a way because the day after the concert your lesson plans can be to show the show. But, instead of just watching the concert the whole way through, stop and talk briefly after each song. Ask what went well. Ask them to think critically about what could have been improved. You can even give students some prompts before you watch and write some ideas on the board to keep them focused as listeners. Are all students singing? Did we do the actions all together? Can you hear all the parts (if there are harmonies). Do you understand the words that everyone is singing? Etc. Try to avoid calling out specific students and instead to think more generally about what we (as a group) can do better.
2) Use a concert evaluation worksheet. I loved the idea of having students sit down to think critically about their performance, but I definitely didn't know how to focus that writing/reflection. I was especially confused about how to help younger/pre-literate students with this reflection process. What do you do with kindergarten to help them write about their performance... if they aren't even writing sentences in class?
I was talking about this issue with my friend Cori Bloom, and she showed me the reflection sheets that she uses. For K-3 she uses several worksheets (depending on the class) with quite a few pictures and icons. This gives kids a chance to reflect and think about the performance and not worry about reading/writing words as much. For older grades she uses some writing reflection worksheets but also gives kids a chane to rate their performance using a numbered scale. Check out some images below and click them to learn more. Cori's stuff is amazing!
Write Thank You Cards
Thank you so much for helping out with the second grader's "Big Chill" concert this week! I really appreciate all the ways that you went out of your way to make this concert great! I know it's a pain to change the normal class schedule to make concert practices happen and take time out of the day to run through lines with kids. I'm sure you've also been fielding questions from parents and kiddos this whole last month. There are so many things that you do to support the kids and support our music program here. Thanks for all the many things you do!
Another fun detail: I always buy those nice Dove brand chocolates and use tape to secure them on as the "stamp" on the letter. Teachers love the hand-written note and they really love the chocolate.
Here's a list of who you might consider writing a thank you to: principal and other admin, homeroom teachers for the kids who performed, specials teachers (art, P.E., library), secretaries and office staff (they field a lot of phone calls for you!), custodians (putting out chairs, cleaning up after the show), anyone who took pictures for you during the show, any parent volunteers, paraprofessionals who helped out, etc.