Sunday, April 10, 2011

Re-Thinking Practice: Week 1

If you read my post on the group lesson activity on practice I planned, you already know that I have made it my goal to emphasize practice over the remainder of the spring piano term in my studio.

Taking the ideas introduced in group lesson and branching out from there, here's how I've been implementing the concept of better practice in my studio this week.

First, I enlarged and printed off the handouts I passed out to my students and hung them on the wall in my home studio- hopefully as an eyecatching reminder that I can reference with my students in the future.

Then, I spent some time thinking about the number 1 item on both charts and created a handout for students to fill out at the beginning of their lessons this past week to help them think about better practice. I plan to do this each week to help my students internalize good practice habits. I got all kinds of responses from my students- all the way from one student who took almost 20 minutes to fill her sheet out (I finally had to call it to a close since I wanted to get some playing time in!) to one student who looked a the sheet and 10 seconds later told me, "I don't know how to answer any of these" (yeah right- I don't think he'd even had time to read any of the questions, much less think about answers ;) ).

Finally, I'm getting creative and developing some alert stickers for my students! This weeks' stickers centered around spots in the music where students may have experienced a 'fumble', or sections where they speed ahead and forget to pay attention to details or wrong notes and rhythms
(a turtle reminds them to slow down, or they'll receive a 'speeding ticket' ). I'm hoping that putting these fun stickers on the music will make my students more conscious of their mistakes and help them be better listeners while they're playing.

This afternoon I'll be working on the handout for week 2- and some new stickers :)

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