Saturday, April 2, 2011

Group Lesson Activity: Best and Worst Practice Habits

While I haven't been nearly as productive this week as I had planned, I did want to share some of the fruits of my labors from group lessons. Here is one activity I used in all but my very earliest beginning group:

I found this great Top 10 Best and Worst Ways to Practice list posted on Marcia Vahls' Piano Perspectives blog. I loved the post and thought it would be a great item to present to my students.

I designed a colorful handout for each student to put in their binders, but I also wanted to spend a bit more time focusing on these concepts so that they'd hopefully retain them! So I ended each group lesson with an activity using the list- I printed off and cut out both lists and mixed them up. Up on the wall was a column for "Best Ways to Practice" and "Worst Ways to Practice". Each student had to pick one of the pieces of paper, read it, decide whether it belonged under the "best" or "worst" heading, and place it in the right spot. Sometimes the individual student decided, other times we all voted just to make it more fun! :)

As each group of students left and were given the handout I had designed, it was really cool to see them actually reading it, saying "Oh, I do that!" and sharing it with their parents.

I'm going to be further discussing these ideas in lessons over the coming weeks, but more on that later (I'm still tweaking)! In the meantime, the handout I designed for the group lesson can be found under the printables tab.


  1. I read that post by Marcia just yesterday, I love it! You came up with a great idea for turning it into a group activity. Thanks Sarah.

  2. Thank you Anne for your kind words! Time will tell if this really makes a difference for my students...but I'm hoping that the coming weeks will see them become more focused and deliberate when they sit down to practice!

  3. I took this list (which I think it GREAT) and am making it into a game of sorts for my students this week. Then next week I will give them all your handout, and hopefully they can begin to practice with a purpose! At the end of the week I will blog about it, and link back to your printable. Thank you!

  4. Nicole- I'm so glad you can use this list- though I really can't take credit for it at all. It was a lucky find :) I'm looking forward to hearing how you've used it this week!