Strive for 5!

We are about 8 weeks into the school year now and while students are getting settled into their routine, sports have been starting to take over in their mindset. As we know there are ups and downs in how busy students are. Sometimes it feels like some of them are constantly going with no breaks at all during the year and then some you simply just ride the wave as their practice routines have highs and lows. I thought it was time for a little practice motivation boost, so this week I gave the challenge for students to strive for […]

Review: Practice Habits

I am a huge fan of giving students a variety of music and lots of it! I believe it helps with their sight-reading and reading skills as well as their motivation. Because of this, I like to subscribe to different digital sheet music subscription services. This last summer, I joined the Practice Habits community. Chris Owenby is the composer/arranger of all the music you can find inside Practice Habits. You can read more about him here. What makes Practice Habits a little different from some of the other music subscriptions is that Chris includes more than sheet music. Of course, it […]

Be Our Guest: How Does Simon Teach Us How to Practice?

Today I have asked Andy Fling with MakingMusicFun.net to share a recent post he wrote for his email subscribers. In this post he shares how using the game that many of us have grown up with, “Simon” and apply it to practicing. I have personally used this game (via the iPad) with my students but for ear training and memory purposes. It didn’t even dawn on me the other teaching application it has! Practicing! Enjoy this post by Andy Fling…     The Best Teaching Strategy You May be Missing Can be Taught with a Toy Have you ever played with Simon […]

Feature Friday: Practice Makes Perfect or Does It?

Practice Makes Perfect or DOES It is a workshop I have been holding with my students for over 10 years. It is one of my favorites because students walk away fully armed with a better understanding of how they should practice. Watch the video to find out which resource I use with students is one of my favorites and why. While I use this workshop for my piano students, it really can be used with any instrument. I think there is only one page in the workbook you would want to pull and just one of the optional outside resources you may not want to use (or can […]

Teaching Students How to Practice

I’ve been holding a practice workshop with my students every few years for awhile now. Even if the same student took it just a few years prior, their experience with it totally changes because they are older and have advanced in their studies. This past year I made my practice workshop lesson plans available to teachers. Before I made it available I wanted to do a big update to it. This summer was my first summer that I used the update and I couldn’t be happier with how everything went. In my lesson plans I break everything down for a […]

Summer Practice Packets

  The idea of summer practice packets came last year after I read an idea from a teacher going on maternity leave and what she was doing with her students. (You can read about the details in the original post here). So last year I offered summer practice packets as an “extra” for families that they can do on top of their summer camp if they wanted to. This year I had some other ideas and wanted to share because it turned out SO good! Okay, I know you are wondering… What are summer practice packets? In my studio, summer practice […]

Review: Carnival of the Animals Music Camp

  After a disastrous concert tour in Germany, Saint-Saens withdrew to a small Austrian village and composed what would eventually become one of his best-known works, The Carnival of the Animals. I love teaching the music from Saint-Saens Carnival of the Animals to students. Students love this humorous musical suite because it is fun and relatable. Natalie Wickham of Music Matters Blog (a blog that not only I enjoy but inspired me to start blogging years ago), created a Carnival of the Animals Music Camp. I am excited to share with you more about it. Carnival of the Animals is a […]

The Power of Praise in Students Practice

  Think of the last time someone praised you on something you accomplished whether big or small. When was the last time you received an email or perhaps a note in the mail from someone saying how proud they are of you? Or perhaps offered a word of encouragement for something you were struggling with? Now think of how it made you feel? Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, cites a study that says when children first start school, they score up to 80% in the self-esteem category. By the time they reach 5th grade, the children scored only […]

5 Creative Times for Practicing

  While a consistent daily routine for practice is best, there are going to be days that the schedule is just thrown out the window. It’s during those times that families need to get a little more creative in when their child can practice. Here are 5 creative times you can share with your families. 1. Practice BEFORE school. I was my families alarm clock when I was taking lessons. And let me tell you, I had to wake up early if I was going to get practice in before school. I got ready for school first so I would be more alert […]

Practice Makes Perfect or DOES It?

  You know the old saying, Practice Makes Perfect? Well as teachers we know better but do our students? It’s not enough to just tell our students to practice, we must show them what practicing should look like. Some students might think playing a piece over and over again is practicing. Others might not really listen to what they are playing, they are just going through the motions. Then there are others that just want to get it over with so they will speed through it as fast as they can. Focus can be a HUGE problem at home. So what […]