why should i practice?

Practice has 2 important purposes:

  1. To improve
  2. To enjoy

IMPROVING is necessary, and happens if you are practicing daily. When we improve, we ENJOY. Enjoyment also occurs when we feel good about what we’ve done, when we gain confidence in our abilities, and are proud about how we sound.

So, how do we improve while enjoying? Good question. First this…

New academic year

Then…

I have created a practice sheet to help my students with this (Though now that I think about it I should re-name it something ridiculously fun like “Improvement Inducer.” Or not — see, this is why I keep my creativity in processes and games, and not in naming things.)

weekly practice chart – full page

weekly practice chart - full pageAs you can see, things are broken down into key areas (listening, review, tone, reading/tech/theory, current pieces, goals) to help students focus on what they should spend their time on. It is vital for us to agree on the goal for the week, otherwise if you come to your next lesson having rocked something else but I asked for a flawless D scale to be executed, then insert crushed dreams here.

I know teachers have many tools they use to help students, and I’m always open to ideas! Maybe I should put staff paper on the back and create some composition/writing assignments…

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improv and teaching resources (and a monkey.)

Prompts-for-Piano-ebook-sample-950x629-600x397There are so many wonderful teachers that provide and share resources, but no one organizes quite like a piano teacher (as hard as the rest of us try…)

Joy Morin from Color In My Piano has oodles of fascinating teaching tools she generously shares on her blog, and the one that intrigued me most today was a composition/improv prompt ebook she is selling entitled Composition and Improvisation for the Piano ($16.)

What this makes me want to do is to set some similar parameters for my cello students to help them with exploring the idea of improv on our beautiful instruments. So much of what we do is interpreting notes and memorizing what composers have set forth, so anytime I can throw in something that encourages a student to explore their creativity then I’m all in!

Prompts-for-Piano-ebook-cover-950x629-600x397Maybe if I created flash cards with a simple visual, and on the back had specific notes they were limited to, with dynamic/articulation options…this could be a great start! Thank you Joy for the inspiration!