Signature Events

Create a performance that participants will remember for the rest of their lives!

Most participants in your Music Studio probably won’t become professional musicians, but why not give them a chance to feel like one while performing on stage?! Creating a Signature Event helps participants look forward to an annual performance and gives them a goal to work towards while building their self-confidence and self-esteem. Whether it’s an Album Release Party, Awards Night, Talent Show, or Vocal Competition, help your participants dream big as they perform for their adoring fans! 

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How to… 

Go big! – Create a signature event that involves your participants in something bigger than they ever thought possible. Here are some general tips for creating a memorable Signature Event: 

  • Book a professional concert venue (e.g. House of Blues, Hard Rock, or local college auditorium)   
  • Rent a red carpet, staging, sound system, and lighting 
  • Secure corporate sponsors and special guest performers 
  • Document the special occasion by hiring professional photographers and videographers
  • Create awards and custom swag (e.g. t-shirts, posters, etc) 
  • Create a buzz promoting your event in the press and community
  • Get support from other program departments 
    • The Dance Team could choreograph a dance routine and perform on stage 
    • Visual Arts participants can design a flyer or custom T-Shirts
    • Teen Center members pass out invitations or help with the setup/teardown of equipment 
  • Invite everyone! Plan for EVERYONE in your organization to attend 
    • Rent buses so all youth members at your organization can attend
    • Staff members chaperone participants in the audience 
    • Invite everyone – administrative staff, board members, friends, and family
      • Pick a family-friendly day/time to make it easy for people to get there
      • Make sure the venue has parking or public transportation 
    • Include donors, sponsors, foundations, and program partners. Highlight how their contributions and support made the night possible. 
  • Prepare! In addition to the logistics discussed above, be sure to: 
    • Avoid schedule conflicts.  Coordinate with your organizational staff to make sure you choose a date/time free of other program or event conflicts.  
    • Develop a rehearsal schedule so participants are confident on stage 
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Open Mic Nights

Forget recitals… create youth-led performances that they look forward to! 

Teens love Open Mic Nights! Promote a supportive performance environment for all skill levels that reflects your teens’ diverse styles and musical tastes. Increase collaboration by featuring bands and group performances along with solo acts. Encourage your teens to lead these events, empowering participants to develop their leadership skills. 

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How to… 

Staff members provide inspiration to all their participants by supporting frequent Open Mic Nights.

  • Create a regular schedule (e.g. 1st Thursday of the month).  Participants stay motivated and grow musically when given a goal to work towards.
  • Set up a weekly Open Studio time and regular set of workshops to help participants prepare.
    • Participants choose the songs they want to learn with the goal of performing at the next Open Mic 
    • Help some participants collaborate to perform the song in a band 
      • Create a band on their own with their friends
      • If a participant doesn’t have friends ready to play, mentors can use youth leaders or other talented musicians to form a band around them 
    • Encourage performances by solo acts or studio collaborations 
    • Performances can include acoustic acts, vocalists, or rappers performing to a track (originals or covers)  
    • Showcase original music productions or music videos.
  • Youth-led event – In addition to performers, rally other teens to help:
    • Design flyers and marketing plans. 
    • Make a setlist.
    • Set up equipment and lighting, and run the soundboard. 
    • Act as the Open Mic emcee.
    • Promote and support the performers
  • Transform the vibe of your music room into a concert venue
    • When possible, set up a stage with stage lights.
    • Encourage dancing, cheering, and an overall supportive environment. 
    • Invite everyone in the building (e.g. Teen Center participants and staff), friends, and family members. 
  • Promote a supportive environment 
    • “We are all still learning” attitude. 
    • Audience cheers for everyone despite skill level (discourage booing). 
    • Ask the audience to encourage/cheer when nerves are high. 
    • Don’t pressure a participant who is not feeling ready to perform.
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Multi-week Vocal Competition

Start your own Idol, Voice, Lip Sync, Glee, Sing-Off, or X Factor singing competition.

Objective: Large-scale performances supported by the whole community and featuring top performers 

  • Large-scale performance in gymnasium or auditorium
  • Modeled after hit TV-show vocal competitions
  • Supported by multiple departments of the Youth Development Organization
  • Feature the music program’s top performers
  • Special event that helps motivate participants to excel musically
  • Used as a tool for recruitment or recognition of participants (particularly older teens)

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