Taking music lessons is a great activity for students of all ages, but there is nothing quite like the feeling of sharing your music with others. Chelsea believes developing performance skills is equally as important as musicianship, and that's why performance is such an integral part of her lessons curriculum. Chelsea offers many performance opportunities to her students, and always encourages them to perform whenever the chance comes their way.
Read more below!
The Annual Fall Concert is the largest student performance held each year. It generally takes place in October and all students are invited (and expected) to participate. This is not your typical "recital," with itchy taffeta dresses and overplayed sonatas – and for that reason, we call them "concerts." Students are encouraged to play songs they enjoy, dress how they like onstage, and learn how to put on a real performance complete with audience interaction and stage presence. Students generally perform between one and three songs depending on how long they have been taking lessons with Chelsea. Some students will also perform in duets and groups with friends or siblings who also take lessons. Following the concert is the Annual Awards Ceremony.
The Fall Concert is a meticulously planned event, and it is Chelsea's goal to make it as special, professional, and welcoming as possible. Since 2013, the concert has been held at Vasa Park in Budd Lake NJ, which throughout the year is home to many music festivals and is a popular music venue among many of New Jersey's local songwriters. As Chelsea believes very strongly in the importance of learning how to perform, participation in this main student event of the year is expected of all Chelsea's students. The concert is always a fun, exciting, and long-awaited event, and a great experience for students and families alike!
In addition to the main student concert (the Fall Concert), smaller student concerts and showcases are arranged throughout the year on an invitational basis. These concerts can be themed, or are just general showcases. Students are invited to be a part of these performances based on their experience level, work ethic, overall passion for music and performance, and suitability for the specific show. Past invitational concerts have included a Disney Musical Revue (June 2015), Summer Student Showcase at the Morris County 4H Fair (2016-18), and Middlesex Fair Mini Showcase (2017-18).
While recitals create an excellent foundation in performance, students who are advanced and driven may be given additional opportunities to perform at real music venues and festivals. Students who continaully show progress in their lessons, demonstrate good effort and individual practice, and show an interest in performing on a higher level may be asked to join Chelsea at one of her shows, or may be aided in booking a show of their own. Students have previously been guests at Dragonfly Music & Coffee Cafe (Somerville), Inn at Millrace Pond (Hope), Panther Pub (Allamuchy), Redwoods (Chester), the West Orange Street Fair, and more.
Performances at professional shows are handled differently than the student concerts. Audiences at real venues are not expecting a performance by "kids," so these performances must be spot-on and well prepared. Students must demonstrate good talent as well as responsibility, and be able to control their nerves, in order to be asked to perform at a show like this.
Students who book their own performances may also request Chelsea to accompany them at various shows or open mics they will be a part of. Chelsea will also provide help to older students who wish to begin entering the music world on a more professional level by assisting them in booking their own shows and learning how to promote themselves.
Paying It Forward
The only thing better than performing in general is performing for a good cause. Chelsea is a big believer in paying it forward, and therefore offers her students opportunities to use their love of music to make someone else's day brighter. In the past, students have performed at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation (Chester), Bridgeway Rehabilitation & Care Center (Hillsborough), and Garden Terrace Nursing Home (Chatham), as well has been a part of benefit concerts for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital and the Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Jersey. As with all other invitational performances, students will be invited to perform at these events based on their work ethic and overall performance experience.