Monday, January 10, 2011

Additional Studio Foci for the Spring

Yesterday I shared about my spring practice incentive. That's an activity that's always fun to plan, and even more enjoyable as I see my students get caught up in the spirit of the competition.

In addition to the spring practice incentive, however, I have a few other drills I'm incorporating into weekly lessons.

1) To help my students develop a better sense of familiarity with the keyboard and basic intervallic recognition, I'm using the Across the C's sightreading sheets from Natalie Wickham's Music Matters Blog. I love how these worksheets drill spatial and intervalic concepts. The series is also great for drilling additional concepts like: looking for repeated patterns, reading ahead and preparing the next hand position, and maintaining a steady pulse. These sheets are easily accessible, which allows the student to feel a sense of accomplishment.

2) For students who need a bit more work on note recognition, I'm assigning Notes in the Fast Lane sheets from Susan Paradis' website. I've been amazed at how much my students (especially the guys!) love this activity.

3) Another concept I'm really emphasizing for my intermediate students this spring is pulse. This means (oh no!) metronome work. I'm not one to assign a huge amount of metronome practice for my students, but for those who seem to struggle with feeling and maintaining pulse, I've made a resolution with myself that I will start incorporating more metronome work into their weekly assignments.

I'm sure that as the weeks progress I'll start pulling out additional drills to address new issues that crop up, but these were ideas I decided to incorporate right from the start, and I'm hoping to be able to give a positive report in the weeks to come on the success of each drill!

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