Practice Olympics – Wrap Up

A few weeks ago I posted that my students were going to be participating in the Practice Olympics, in which they would work on different practice related events.  In order to “medal” they had to complete a certain number of events. 2 events = Bronze level prize (sheet of stickers) 3 events = Silver level prize (Stickers + Kazoo + Harmonica) 4 events = Gold level prize (Stickers + Kazoo + Harmonica + Gold Medal) I am pleased to announce that ALL of my students that participated earned at least a Bronze prize and most earned Silver or Gold.  They were THRILLED about the events and excited to work toward the different level prizes.  Parents also appreciated getting to see their kids excited about practicing.  This was also a great way for me to see what kinds of practicing motivates each individual and what specific areas (ex. note naming, note writing, identifying parts of music, sight reading, etc.) might need a little extra work.  All around, I call this event a success and plan on doing it again in 2 Read More

Practice Olymipics

Let’s be honest, the word practice usually isn’t a huge hit with most kids.  Many children dread practicing and often fight it.  That isn’t because music is a poor fit, it usually has something to do with the perception of practicing as sitting still in the same room for longer than they would like, playing the same notes over and over.  Practice sounds and awful lot like another dreaded word… homework. Now, the above is not my definition of practice.  I consider practice as any time spent bettering your grasp of what we have worked on in lessons.  That could mean doing flash cards, writing a song, watching a video on youtube about playing piano, reading about a composer, sitting at the piano for 5 minutes, playing a new strum pattern on guitar, talking about lessons, etc. So, with the Olympics starting TOMORROW I wanted to come up with a fun and engaging way to get my students practicing more!  I found my inspiration for this activity on and adapted it to suite the needs of my students. Starting today, my Read More

Free Printable Practice Chart

I encourage all of my students to practice.  It doesn’t have to be a lot of practice, as long as my students make an effort to look at their materials a couple times a week.  Some of my students need a little extra help when it comes to practicing.  That is why I developed this simple Practice Chart for students and their families to use between lessons. Not only do students get to check off the days they practice, but they also get the opportunity to set a goal for themselves.  Goals can relate to the number of days practiced each week or the amount of time spent practicing within the week.  Many of my students like the idea of getting a small prize for achieving their goal.  I work with each student to come up with a suitable prize.  Some prizes I have used in the past include sharing a favorite song on YouTube, playing 5 minutes of a musical game on the iPad, bringing a special instrument to play, allowing the student to take home a small instrument Read More

3 Quick Tips for a New School Year

Where oh where has summer gone?  I feel like just yesterday we were at the end of May and now we’re almost half-way through August!  School is just around the corner for many of my clients so here are a couple quick tips to get the new year off to a good start!   1. Establish a routine! Transitioning back to school can take it’s toll.  There are so many new experiences, schedules, activities, and all around changes that it can make a person crazy!  Having a set routine can help ease part of that transition and set up you up for a successful rest of the year.  The fewer surprises and rushed tasks there are in the morning and evening, the happier the whole family will be!  Plan ahead for the next day and let the kids know about any change that may upset this routine. 2. Set specific times/goals for practicing. If a child knows that at 5:30 every day they sit at the piano for 10 minutes or play each of their songs 3 times, it’s going Read More