Do you remember the scene in Karate Kid where Mr. Miyagi asks Danny to polish his classic cars?
Danny doesn’t realise it but he is learning how to do some devastating karate moves.
Now I’m not suggesting you set your students a series of repetitive household tasks in order to play their instruments well (although their parents might approve!) but knowing how to practise is very effective.
So here’s an idea to help students become proficient at practice.
To make warm-ups and wind-downs in practice easy and enjoyable, ask students to use pieces they know well.
This will increase the flow of their playing, consolidate techniques they have learned and warm up muscles before launching into new technical exercises or pieces.
A repertoire list is a great help for this (a list of pieces which students play well).
Warming up or finishing with pieces students play well is a positive reminder of their achievements.
Also, making the start and finish of practice feel easier provides a positive psychological effect giving students a lift.
Students can sometimes see practice as a bit tedious so this can give them a more positive experience.
- Further ideas on how to encourage practice – more to come soon.
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