How To Practice P

How To Practice
Please, please, please encourage your child by giving them positive comments. They are learning new instruments as well as learning
to read music at the same time. They are also learning to bring their materials on a regular basis. This can be frustrating at times. Please
shower them with positive comments. Reminding them to practice and helping them find the quiet time to practice will pay off in big
dividends in their development of brain connections, produce feelings of strength and confidence and enable them to have years of
enjoyment as well as just plain old FUN. Making sure your child is practicing both their method book assignment AND their
concert music is essential.
Survey the music for rhythms, notes, key signature, tempo,
sharps/flats, etc.
Ask yourself “What am I going to be playing/doing?”
Pizzicato the piece very slow! (Even if the piece is meant to
be bowed).
STEP THREE: Pizzicato the piece again up to tempo.
- If the piece is meant to be bowed (arco), then play the piece
very slow with the bow. Only focus only on the notes and
- If the piece is meant to be plucked (pizz.), then play the song
(as written) without stopping. Try this step with the CD.
Play the piece again, very slow, adding in the “decorations”
(staccato, dynamics, slurs, bowings, etc.).
Play the piece again up to tempo. Repeat this step until you
are able to play the song (as written) without stopping! Try this
step with the CD.
Hints for Practicing
1. Warm-up. Begin with finger exercises that are scale centered.
2. Problem solve. Use slow, careful practice to eliminate mistakes.
3. Personalize. Add dynamics, increase tempo, go beyond the notes. Remember, you are making music.
4. Variety. Switch the order. Try something by memory. Keep it interesting.
5. Fun finish. End with a favorite.
If going on vacation, the student may still practice without their instrument. Here are some ways:
• Listen to the CD while following along in their method book.
• “Air finger” the notes on an imaginary fingerboard.
• "Air bow” the bowings.
• Sing the music. (They say if you can sing it, you can play it!)