Talent Shows

The Grandview Elementary School talent show was an annual event that had the most amazing array of talent.  We had a 12 year old world champion double baton twirler, and a young world class tumbler, who worked with Cirque de Soleil after he graduated.    We also had many karate kata performances, dance solos, and one spectacularly cringe worthy recorder performance.  We had piano solos, including one seven year old that could play Mozart piano sonatas.
This school had about 350 children, and the entire school attended the performance in the gym.
In our school the talent show was held on one of the last days of school.  There was no time limit on it, but if it was longer than 90 minutes the children in the audience would get restless.

Notes were sent home with the children.

The classroom teachers were supposed to do the screening of applications.  We had guidelines, and most teachers did a great job.  But there were a few that let any child that brought a permission form participate.  To limit performances to the more serious and better prepared acts, I’d suggest that you hold auditions after school hours.  Then, you can include several teachers of TAs from your school as audition judges.  It’s a good idea to hold auditions on Wed. Or Thurs. and post the results list on Friday at the end of the day.  You should also send notes home with successful applicants so that they have all the information on date, time of show.

Here is one possible Audition Rubric


Send home the audition list.

At the auditions, if you are able to, make copies of  any mp3s that students use, so you’ll have it on the day of the performance. 
After the auditions, judges need to make up the list of acts that will be in the talent show.
Post the list of acts that made the cut, late Friday afternoon, and give all students who auditioned a note of congratulations or sorry, please try again next year.  I try to accept as many acts as possible.  We have a 2 hour time frame, but try to keep the show to no more than 90 minutes.
Create your program from the list of acts that you’ve approved.  You can use student MCs, but it will be easier if you have an adult MC.  Sometimes the local radio station will send an announcer to be your MC, and this is fun for the kids.  Often, our principal will be the MC.  If you’re using student MCs, give them the program of acts that will be in the show so they can write introductions.  You'll have to work with them before the show to be sure they're ready to do this.
A dress rehearsal is really great if you’re able to do it.  But at Grandview Elementary, we never had a rehearsal because that last week of school was crazy and there were always lots of field trips and special activities.
If you’re able to get the music needed for the show on your computer, it will make the running of the show much smoother.
On the day of the talent show, check with all your performers to be sure they have their music, costumes, etc.  Set up and test out your sound equipment.   Set up video equipment - if you have classes after the talent show, they always love to see a re-run. 
Call the students who are in the who to the gym about 20 minutes before your start time and seat them in order, with all their props that they need. 
Have FUN!!! 
I'll post fillable PDF versions of my parent letters at Musicplay Teachers Facebook Group!
Talent shows are fun - share your ideas for making talent shows a success at Musicplay Teachers Facebook Group!


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