Sunday, October 18, 2009

Five Steps to Better Practicing, Part Two

2. Keep Track of Practicing with a Practice Record.

Once you have communicated the need for practice to your students and their parents, you will need to hold them accountable with a practice record. There are many different practice records from which to choose. The most basic component is a list of the days of the week with a blank or box next to each day where the student may record practice time. Most practice records also include room to write down assignments and some even include a few blank staves. The practice records serves as a journal that confirms the amount of practice. For children, I usually require a parent's signature to verify the times stated.

What incentive does a child have to use the practice record? More about that next week.

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Five Steps to Better Practicing

We are halfway through the Fall Semester and this year's practice habits have been formed. Do your students need improvement in this area? Perhaps you can find help with this tried and proven Five Steps to Better Practicing.

1. Communicate your expectations to the student and his/her parents from the beginning.

Many people, especially children, do not realize how much practice is required for learning to play an instrument. They watch professionals, or other well-trained musicians, who have the ability to learn new music with ease and think that playing an instrument looks easy. No one sees the hours and hours of practice that goes into a professional-sounding performance or the years of hard work that builds musical skill.

Tell your students at the first lesson how many minutes per week they will be expected to practice. In fact, tell them when you are scheduling the first lesson. Break it down into minutes per day. For example, 30 minutes per day for six days each week.

Effective Communication is the first key to building better practice routines.

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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Find a Music Teacher

How do music teachers and music students find each other? One way is through "Find a Music Teacher" at The Music N More Store.

"Find a Music Teacher" is a nation-wide database that allows music teachers to register their contact information and profile for a small fee. Students search for teachers by location, instrument and other pertinent details. Students view teacher profiles and contact the teacher of their choice. Everyone wins! Try "Find a Music Teacher" today.

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