Commitment to progress on a weekly basis (at each lesson) requires dedication, perseverance, work, struggle, and passion. The teacher expects something every week, and knows what the student is capable of achieving. Consultation with the parent(s) may happen weekly, monthly or once per term, to advise the parent regarding the student's general progress. However, the true measure of success is performance, and the student will be required to perform regularly in several capacities:
KMI Recitals: The Kikuchi Music Institute sponsors two general student recitals each year: October and March. KMI students are expected to participate in their first KMI Recital sometime during the first year of study, and no later than 18 months from starting lessons. Consult each individual Department regarding recital requirements. In addition, students may participate in special Junior and Senior recitals in their Junior and Senior years of High School.
Featured Students: The Kikuchi Music Institute makes downloadable/viewable video clips of our student performances available through the web site. Students can refer their friends and family to our web site to hear them perform, when they are unable to attend a recital. New students can listen to how our students perform to assess the quality of our teaching.
Studio Class: Within the Music Appreciation and Young Artist Programs the student will be expected to perform regularly at Studio Class. These events are more frequent and less formal than recitals, and the student will be required to discuss his/her performance with the teacher and peers as an interractive and constructive dialogue. All students attending learn from each other. No parents or guests are be present. The Studio Class functions as a group lesson in performance.
Juried Evaluations: There are several programs which evaluate students to assess their level of progress on the instrument. In the world of music, these events are often called "juries". Some of these programs (such as the PPTA Evaluations) are systematic, and cover all levels from the first year. Some programs expect the student to have reached a minimum level (usually equivalent to the KMI Core Curriculum). Regardless of the instrument of study, KMI students are expected to participate in at least one of these evaluation programs.
School Music: Every school has some sort of music program. The number of opportunities usually increase with each level of education (primary, elementary, middle school, high school) and these programs rely upon participation of students who have studied privately. KMI students are STRONGLY encouraged to participate in as many school sponsored music activities as possible, and instrumental students are REQUIRED to participate in the school orchestra unless they have been admitted to another prestigious musical ensemble. (See below.)
Ensembles: For students of an orchestral or band instrument, participation in the first ensemble usually marks the beginning of the student's life-long love of music. The thrill of performing in a group, generating big sound, and creating exciting music of significant complexity brings meaning to the instrument beyond what was possible as a soloist (even with piano accompaniment). For the parents, the pride of seeing their children perform on stage the first time is a parallel mark of achievement. In every year after, as the student advances and attains admission to more advanced and prestigious ensembles, the student's feeling of accomplishment and the parent's pride continue to grow. All KMI students are expected to participate in any and all ensembles for which they are qualified. Piano students are expected to select duet partners within the KMI studios, and should participate in a chorus somewhere (anyone with a music education can sing enough to be in a chorus), but all piano students are strongly encouraged to study a secondary instrument for the opportunity of participating in a band or orchestra.
Musical Theater: Some elementary schools produce an annual school play. If your child is fortunate to attend a school that does, some sort of participation in it even if just as supernumerary (non-soloist cast) is a wonderful introduction to musical theater. Almost all Middle Schools and High Schools produce a similar musical (sometimes even two) each year and often these productions are of very high quality. All KMI students are strongly encouraged to participate (anyone can audition for the cast, and pianists & instrumentalists can play in the pit orchestra). KMI voice students are required to audition for solo parts in any available school music.
Special Recitals: KMI students also participate regularly in Pittsburgh Piano Teachers Association (PPTA) Sunday Recitals, PPTA Piano Evaluations, PMTA Recitals, Steinway Honors Recitals and recitals hosted by other organizations.
Competitions: Certain promising KMI students will be asked to participate in a competition. This process is a very difficult one, and requires special planning and preparation on the part of the student, teacher, and parents. Any student who meets the minimum qualifications may apply to participate in a competition, but only those students who are fully prepared will be selected to compete.
Featured Students: This section of our web site documents the performances and progress made by KMI students. Almost every KMI student who has performed in at least one KMI recital is eligible, but participation is totally voluntary. Browse these pages to see the accomplishments made by and follow the progress of our many very talented students. Witnessing the development of these students is proof positive that a music education can improve your child's academic success.
Faculty Performances: The Kikuchi Music Institute Faculty regularly perform at various events sponsored by the Tuesday Musical Club, Pittsburgh Piano Teachers Association, Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association - Pittsburgh Chapter, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, River City Brass Band, and Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh.
(See TUTORIAL: TIMELINES for more information on student performance and progress at the Kikuchi Music Institute.)