The Secret Word

by | Thoughts on Teaching

“Why is there an army of minions in your piano studio?”

No one has actually asked the question, but I see parents looking at all the minions (14, at last count), and I know what they’re thinking.

We were preparing for a recital, and I had put lots of effort into getting students to think about stage presence and performance procedure. I told them to show me they were remembering by giving me a fist bump and saying a secret word as they arrived at the recital.

“What’s the secret word going to be?” I asked at our performance class the day before the recital.

“Minions!” one of the boys shouted. So minions it was.

They filed into the recital hall one-by-one, all giving me fist-bumps and whispering the secret word. And their performance procedure was impeccable. Best ever.

Since then, students have been bringing me minions–stuffed minions, plastic minions, Christmas-tree-ornament minions, light-switch-cover minions. There was even a minion cake. Today, a student brought me minion Tic Tacs!

This secret word idea was something that just popped into my head on the spot during our pre-recital performance class, but I was amazed at the results it got. I encourage you to give it a try as you prepare students for their next recital.