PRACTICE STRATEGIES
  THE MUSIC SCHOOL, INC.
©2018 The Music School, Inc.
Practice Strategies What should my child be doing during practice time? We hear it all the time, and the answer is simple: pattern your practice time in the image of your private lesson. Start with scales, etudes and familiar pieces to warm-up with, and then work your way into unfamiliar territory with the new material. Thoughtful and efficient practicing can overcome our time constraints while producing consistent and encouraging improvement. Maintain a positive, non-judgmental attitude. When something goes wrong do not simply repeat the action, but begin to teach yourself: Identify exactly what was wrong. Usually a technical glitch involves only two or three notes. Including the measure or a line is a huge time-waster. Analyze why there was difficulty, and what the technical solution is. Now play the two or three notes slowly, applying the technical fix. Be patient! Do not insist on velocity. Begin to gradually speed up the passage when you are satisfied you have found the proper solution to the original glitch. Advance the metronome one click at a time until you reach a proper tempo. With   so   much   else   to   do   in   a   day,   the   hardest   thing   about   practicing   is   starting.   So   set   a   regular   time every   day   and   stick   to   it.   Science   has   shown   that   after   21   days   of   repeating   an   action   a   new   habit   is born   and   you   actually   begin   to   feel   like   something   important   is   "missing"   from   your   day   when   you   skip   a practice. In   an   ideal   world,   students   would   look   forward   to   daily   practice   without   being   reminded   to   do   so   by   their parents. All   teachers   have   had   the   joy   of   teaching   a   student   who   is   intrinsically   motivated   through   his   or her   pure   love   of   music.   This   type   of   student   is   hardly   the   norm,   however,   and   parents   need   a   repertoire of   extrinsic   motivational   ideas   to   encourage   those   students   who   do   not   understand   the   importance   of practice. As   time   passes,   the   students   can   be   weaned   off   the   reward   systems   on   their   way   to   becoming mature musicians. Some examples of strategies that parents have used successfully to positively reinforce a consistent practice schedule: Keep a practice record on a calendar and give a reward for 7 days in a row. Tape record your practice. Perform a family recital. Sing while you do the note fingerings.Practice with the lights off. Memorize your favorite song. Start your favorite song on a different note.Dance while you play. Practice in slow motion. Play twice as fast. Practice in front of a mirror. Practice with your eyes shut. Produce a monthly music video starring you. Create an animal sound on your instrument. Play for your pet. Make up a new rhythm to a familiar song. Wear a funny hat while you practice. Make up words to one of your songs. Play "Mystery Tune" with your little brother or sister. Play a song for the neighbors. Give a candlelight concert. Wear sunglasses while you practice. Compose a song. Leave a "song" message on a relative's answering machine. See how long you can hold a note. Practice in a new place. Practice 100 days in a row! Practice in your pajamas. Practice with a timer. See how many times you can play something in one minute. Play duets with a friend over the phone. Invent your own strategy!
PRACTICE STRATEGIES
©2018 The Music School, Inc.
Practice Strategies What should my child be doing during practice time? We hear it all the time, and the answer is simple: pattern your practice time in the image of your private lesson. Start with scales, etudes and familiar pieces to warm-up with, and then work your way into unfamiliar territory with the new material. Thoughtful and efficient practicing can overcome our time constraints while producing consistent and encouraging improvement. Maintain a positive, non-judgmental attitude. When something goes wrong do not simply repeat the action, but begin to teach yourself: Identify exactly what was wrong. Usually a technical glitch involves only two or three notes. Including the measure or a line is a huge time-waster. Analyze why there was difficulty, and what the technical solution is. Now play the two or three notes slowly, applying the technical fix. Be patient! Do not insist on velocity. Begin to gradually speed up the passage when you are satisfied you have found the proper solution to the original glitch. Advance the metronome one click at a time until you reach a proper tempo. With   so   much   else   to   do   in   a   day,   the   hardest   thing   about   practicing is   starting.   So   set   a   regular   time   every   day   and   stick   to   it.   Science has   shown   that   after   21   days   of   repeating   an   action   a   new   habit   is born   and   you   actually   begin   to   feel   like   something   important   is "missing" from your day when you skip a practice. In   an   ideal   world,   students   would   look   forward   to   daily   practice without   being   reminded   to   do   so   by   their   parents. All   teachers   have had   the   joy   of   teaching   a   student   who   is   intrinsically   motivated through   his   or   her   pure   love   of   music.   This   type   of   student   is   hardly the    norm,    however,    and    parents    need    a    repertoire    of    extrinsic motivational    ideas    to    encourage    those    students    who    do    not understand    the    importance    of    practice.    As    time    passes,    the students   can   be   weaned   off   the   reward   systems   on   their   way   to becoming mature musicians. Some examples of strategies that parents have used successfully to positively reinforce a consistent practice schedule: Keep a practice record on a calendar and give a reward for 7 days in a row. Tape record your practice. Perform a family recital. Sing while you do the note fingerings.Practice with the lights off. Memorize your favorite song. Start your favorite song on a different note.Dance while you play. Practice in slow motion. Play twice as fast. Practice in front of a mirror. Practice with your eyes shut. Produce a monthly music video starring you. Create an animal sound on your instrument. Play for your pet. Make up a new rhythm to a familiar song. Wear a funny hat while you practice. Make up words to one of your songs. Play "Mystery Tune" with your little brother or sister. Play a song for the neighbors. Give a candlelight concert. Wear sunglasses while you practice. Compose a song. Leave a "song" message on a relative's answering machine. See how long you can hold a note. Practice in a new place. Practice 100 days in a row! Practice in your pajamas. Practice with a timer. See how many times you can play something in one minute. Play duets with a friend over the phone. Invent your own strategy!
THE MUSIC SCHOOL,  INC.