Summer Practice Inspiration and How to Keep On Keeping On

Summer Practice. Do those words strike dread and fear in your heart? Practice is the key to piano success…and that includes summer practice! In fact, if you are taking the summer off of piano lessons, summer practice goes a very long way in making certain the return to the lessons in the fall in a positive and enjoyable one. Our fingers are muscles and need to be exercised, and so does our brain! Regular practice keeps our fingers dextrous and “in shape” and sight reading and learning a new piece or two keeps our brain and our note reading skills sharp.

Having two children of my own means that I am continually look for creative ways to keep them inspired….especially when it comes to my son who is always trying to tell me now that he is a lacrosse player NOT a piano player. I don’t see what he can’t be both! 😉 Anyway, quite by accident I came across this pin on Pinterest (oh, how I LOVE that site…it’s made me a better teacher, mom and wife….but again, I digress) that was created for summer reading. I looked at this little craft and thought, “That is SO fun, if only I’d seen that years ago when I was sweating so hard to keep my own kids motivated to read over the summer!”….and then it hit me: “That would totally work for piano practice!” So, I took the little poem about reading and changed a few words to make it about practice and this is what I came up with to send home with my piano students at their last lesson:

gumball practice

Into each little bag, I put approximately 20 gumballs…20 little practices are the MINIMUM I hope to see my students practice over the 10 week period of no lessons. I am hoping that maybe the bag might get mysteriously refilled over the summer! 😉 For children who don’t like gum, lifesavers or hard candy could be put in a little bag….I thought of that but had a hard time making the poem work. With a little bit of inspiration I CAN be creative… but there is a limit.

I’m hoping this little idea will inspire students to keep going while enjoying a little treat for their efforts.

Looking for more ideas to keep that Practice Tank full and the motor running? Take a little field trip out to downtown St. Albert and enjoy hunting down and playing on the beautiful street pianos that are spending their second summer out!

10338588_634037223354214_2446281927376734927_o

And here’s another post I shared with more ideas to keep practice inspired and fun and a lot more like play than work. Have you made your way through some of these over the past year? Candle light practice was definitely a favourite here!

https://mmmusicstudio.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/perspective-making-practice-more-like-play/

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Summer Practice Inspiration and How to Keep On Keeping On

  1. Sometimes, for me, getting students the music they want entails me transcribing a particular pop song for them, that involves a lot of decisions for me about trying to be true to the original melody so the students can play along with the track (key, rhythm, register, etc) or transpose the piece to an easier key and with a simplified rhythm which will enable them to play it more easily. Sometimes giving them a very difficult transcription which is clearly beyond their current abilities is an excellent motivator, and sometimes it isnt, every student is a unique individual who responds to a wide range of positive or negative reinforcements- some will rise to the challenge and work their butts off to be able to conquer the piece and some will curl up in a little tearful ball and quit. One parent came up with an excellent motivator for her daughter (who was a very commercially minded girl), she paid her $5 for every day that she practiced on her own for 30 minutes or more- but at the end of the week the child had to pay for her lesson herself. Pretty quickly the student realized that if she practiced 7 days a week she would be turning a $10 profit weekly, and promptly doubled her efforts at home. Everyone is different, and part of our job as teachers is learning what makes each pupil tick, and helping them develop good discipline which will reward them with a wealth of achievements, both in music and life. This is the way we do it at my studio, http://www.nassaubaymusiclessons.com anyway…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s