Thursday, April 7, 2011

Quick Tips for Better Practice

I have a student coming this afternoon whose mother just had her third child, meaning that he's been doing a good deal of practice on his own over the past month. He's a younger student as well as a quick learner, but I've been noticing that his practice habits lately haven't been as disciplined as I'd like them to be. He loves to speed through the music without taking the time to count or take in other details (I have a feeling he'll be getting a fair number of my new 'speeding tickets' but more on that in an upcoming post). So I took a few moments this morning to write up a short handout I'm going to staple into his practice notebook for him to use over the week at home. Hopefully this will help him be a bit more conscientious when he sits down to practice!

What do you do to help younger students whose home practice sometimes leaves a few things to be desired?! Anything you'd add to my list?


  1. Good tips. :) I would add that the piece of music should be broken down into small "bites" or 1-3 measures at a time. This could be marked with stickers or symbols of some sort. I like to use stars. And I encourage my students NOT to try to get through the whole piece until at least halfway through the week.

  2. Leah- you're right! How could I have forgotten to put that one down!

    I do the same thing with my students- when we look at a new piece of music the first thing we do is divide it into sections- then study each one individually. I encourage them to do this at home- at least at the beginning of the week. I'm going to have to update my list :)

    The student I shared this with really enjoyed having the list, and he was so cute- as he was reading he'd gotten about halfway through the list when he turned to me and said, "Hey, I recognize this handwriting!" He actually thought I'd handwritten the list ;) I was pretty flattered that he thought my handwriting was that neat!

  3. That's quite a compliment- I find these cute type styles in my word processor program, and I always wish I could duplicate them. :)