Performance Opportunities


Student at the Piano

Students are provided with frequent performance opportunities. Recitals are scheduled every 4 to 6 weeks and are held both in students’ homes and in venues throughout the community. Students have performed at the Self Help Home in Chicago, Friend Center in Deerfield, and in Evanston at the Presbyterian Home and Northminster Presbyterian Church.

Theme Recitals

Several times during the year students will participate in Theme Recitals which have included:

Invention Convention — The fifteen Bach Two-Part Inventions are performed in a Student-Teacher recital.

On Your Own Recital — Students choose and learn pieces by themselves.

Family Duet Recital — Piano-playing parents and siblings are invited to team up with students to play duets.

Boys Rule! Recital — All boys in the studio are invited to participate.

Students and Marie Alatalo after a costume recital.

Costume Recital — An extremely popular recital in which students dress in a costume that is somehow related to their piece. Costumes have included Mozart’s sister, 18th century opera singer, gypsy girl, spirit, railroad worker.

Additional Recitals

Advanced students will prepare a solo recital. At times, these recitals will include one younger student, both to give the advanced student a break from playing, and to introduce the younger student to a formal full length recital.

Students will team up in groups of two to four to present recitals. These recitals will often feature four-hand and six-hand works.

Piano Class

Piano Class is an informal evening where students can preview pieces scheduled for upcoming recitals and competitions.


Information on competitions is available to interested students.

Motivational Games

Students participate in several games over the course of the year to help them master music rudiments.

Flash Card Mania — Note reading and key signature skills are drilled. Students are timed while identifying notes or key signatures (depending on age and level). A friendly contest develops to obtain the fastest time.

Scale Trail — To learn and increase speed in playing scales. Progress is tracked on a large poster of Mt. Everest. All students begin at Base Camp and move up the mountain towards Camps One through Four, and the Summit, which is reached by playing a four octave scale at a metronome mark of 144.

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