This post is about the never ending practice war. You carefully write out assignments in your student’s notebook, slowly explain what you wrote, and you wait 7 days. Then you find out your student didn’t even look at the assignment sheet. You give your student a look of shock or disappointment and explain again why practice is so important. Repeat the steps from the previous week. The cycle continues.
I’m sure most piano teachers are familiar with the practice war and some may even have come to accept it as just a normal part of lessons. Well, the rebel in me is standing up today and saying NO! This has got to stop!
So, I have a proposal for any teacher who is ready to accept the challenge to end the war.
This will take a little advanced planning, but I’m betting it will be worth it. This week I’m giving students a different practice task for each of the 7 days in between lessons. My goal is for them to complete at least 5 of these tasks. If they complete all 7, they get to choose something from my treasure box at the end of the lesson. Here is where it gets interesting - I will assign and explain a really cool practice activity for the first day like one of the ones in Shhh… Your Piano Teacher Thinks This Is Practice by Andrea and Trevor Dow. The other 6 assignments will be given to the student in sealed envelopes with the message – “Do NOT Open Until _________ “! The day of the week will be written on the line. Before giving the student the assignments, I will be making a list of them in my teacher notes so that I can use that in the following lesson.
I can’t wait to see how many of my students will take the mystery challenge!