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#962408 - 09/25/05 11:06 AM What practice tips do you give your students?
pianodreamer Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/20/04
Posts: 1
What are some of the tips you give your students so that they practice effectively?

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#962409 - 09/26/05 12:17 AM Re: What practice tips do you give your students?
Candywoman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 862
When I started teaching, I rarely mentioned practicing. I felt that people practice the amount they want to, and it's very difficult to change this amount. After a while it stabilizes for each student. I still believe this to a certain extent, but I try to demand more. The problem is their lives are so busy, it's really unrealistic to expect much more than maybe 15-30 minutes per day.

I always wrote in their little dictation books, giving a fairly thorough list of what they should do. This helps.

But essentially, if you really want them to practice, it will take a recital. Or they have to happen to love the piece.

#962410 - 09/27/05 02:22 AM Re: What practice tips do you give your students?
eastcountypiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/07/05
Posts: 30
Loc: California
Playing the new music slowly and accurately and then gradually bringing it up to the correct tempo.
Jerrie, Piano Teacher

#962411 - 09/28/05 10:18 AM Re: What practice tips do you give your students?
humeister Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/27/05
Posts: 22
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Practice everyday \:\)

#962412 - 09/28/05 04:19 PM Re: What practice tips do you give your students?
Varcon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 1931
Loc: Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
For effective practice a plan should be devised so that it is systematic and effective. For each session something definite should be the goal whether it is technique, repertoire, etc.

Practice is the 'work' period and 'play' is the finished product performed. If adaptable, I always start with the left hand (as it's usually side-lined for the attention to the right hand) then the right and then together at a slow pace (all three). Then the same procedure for the next round but slightly faster, again faster, and then play aiming for a performance standard.

Sometimes rhythm is the problem and that has to worked out, understood, and inculcated into the whole of the piece.

Usually teachers give some format they like for one to follow and, if it works, it's usually kept up with modifications as necessary from then on.

The metronome plays an integral part of my practice sessions and is wonderful for developing stability and consistency as well as control.

#962413 - 09/28/05 10:17 PM Re: What practice tips do you give your students?
cranky woman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 282
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Instead of assigning a specific amount of time to practice each day, I ask for "perfect practice".

Here's what all prospective students see in my policy letter before they begin:

Students are expected to get six days of FULL practice each week. Full Practice will be defined as completing each assignment a specific number of times perfect each day. For example, practice the E scale three times perfect each day, review measures 10-18 five times perfect each day, etc. I will be specific in their notebook. This may mean your child's practice time may fluctuate depending on the length of time it takes to perfect certain passages. Students may choose specific holidays that are “practice free”, they are: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Independence Day, and their Birthday. Parents of younger students are encouraged to fill out time charts and sign them so that I will have an accurate record in their yearly practice chart, as well as information to apply to the practice rebate.

I also offer a "practice rebate" to the parents. Each week a child gets full practice, they can earn $2.50 off of their tuition for the next month ($10 maximum). This has really worked for me! I figured out my budget based on if my students always completed their practicing, and if they didn't I'd get a bonus! We should definitely be paid more if students don't practice \:\)


#962414 - 10/13/05 05:37 PM Re: What practice tips do you give your students?
musdan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/05
Posts: 1187
I wonder if you can practice too much, today, I was practicing two pieces that I have been working on for a few weeks now and it seemed as if the music came from some other planet, my fingers seemed to have a will of their own and I finally gave up.

Maybe a day off will help, any suggestions? Thanks \:\)

#962415 - 10/14/05 01:03 PM Re: What practice tips do you give your students?
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2919
Loc: UK.
I agree with Varcon. You must have an idea of what you want to achieve when you practice. I swear some of my students practice for 30 mins and then stop dead mid phrase!! I let them know what I think they can achieve througout the week and leave it up to them how much time this takes (older students only). With very young ones the responsibility must lie with the parents to ensure the work is being done. The most important thing is to make sure that when you practice you concentrate and are careful enough to get things right. If you play something badly for hours every day you become very good at it (playing badly that is!).
Pianist and piano teacher.

#962416 - 10/15/05 06:26 PM Re: What practice tips do you give your students?
diddy1019 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 14
thanks for the great info guys!


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