Each December, I like for my students to participate in some type of performance for charity. This year, we held our second annual “Piano Play-a-thon“, where students put together a program of up to five minutes, solicited sponsors to donate money to a local organization, and performed their pieces at a casual recital. This year, we raised almost $1,000 for a local non-profit who provides in-home services for families of children with special needs and had the chance to perform at a fantastic coffee shop. I love being able to rally some community support and bring attention to one of the many fantastic charities and the work they are doing in our area.
I think there are so many ways that we can use our studios to give back to our communities. Not only is performing a great way to motivate students to work hard, but charity events teach them the ways they can use their gifts to serve others. As a bonus, you’ll also be reaching members of your community with your studio’s name and services!
Here are some ideas for performances that can also be viewed as service opportunities:
- Hold a recital at a senior living center or nursing home.
- Have students perform at a coffee shop or shopping center with a tip jar, where they can collect money for a local charity.
- Charge a small fee ($5 or so) for guests to attend a student recital and donate the proceeds to a nonprofit.
- Put together a program inspired by the cause you are raising money for. If it’s a concert to benefit HIV research, have your dancers wear red costumes. If you’re raising money for veteran’s families, have your students perform patriotic songs.
- Have concert attendees bring a canned food or produce item to give to a local food bank.
- Have students collect pledges for the number of minutes practiced in preparation for the recital ($1 for every 10 minutes, $1 for every day, etc.)