motivating students to practice
August 29, 2012 at 9:33 am #11576
A perennial challenge – how to motivate students to practice longer and more consistently? I’ve taught instrumental music for a number of years (mostly at the elementary level) and have tried a variety of approaches. I’m looking for some fresh ideas that work. Anyone out there willing to share?October 10, 2012 at 8:01 pm #13465
Such a struggle – I know.
However, http://www.smartmusic.com is absolutely wonderful – though it is initially expensive it is beyond worth it!
It’s a great tool that your future virtuosos can use literally anywhere with internet and a built in or available microphone.
The teacher can set up assignments in less than 2 minutes that can go out to the entire ensemble – completely custom and transposed for each instrument. The students simply sign on – play the assignment and submit it and it comes back to the teacher. Now, you can assess them and can show them progress that they are making. This is also a great tool to get parents involved and comprehending what exactly we do.
Plus – you get a plethora of band scores as well as solos, duets, trio, quartets, and chamber music + accompaniment!
If you haven’t already, go check it out!October 10, 2012 at 8:43 pm #13467
I agree with Jessica on this topic. At this point in the technology age, SmartMusic is a great tool to use to help your students learn music with relative ease. Parental involvement is always key for a child’s success too, and this helps promote that without the parents having to go out of their way to do anything.
Also, from a personal standpoint, I have found if the students like what they are playing then they are more likely to want to practice it. I personally hate etudes so I just avoid practicing them, but if I am preparing a solo for a recital then I will practice beyond comprehension. Each student is different, obviously, so I guess its all a matter of what motivates your student and how it can be easily obtained.
Kent State University, OHOctober 11, 2012 at 9:48 am #13478
I also agree with Jessica and Chris. SmartMusic is a wonderful resource for students, as it incorporates something they like (technology) with something they don’t (practicing).
I would also recommend teaching students how to practice smart. Practicing for hours won’t do students any good if they aren’t practicing correctly. I was never taught how to practice in school, so I figured playing a song over and over again would help improve my playing. It wasn’t until high school that I discovered how to practice. When teaching in the classroom and you stumble across a difficult part for students, ask them how they would practice that part on their instruments. Then give suggestions on how you would practice that part. In today’s society, time is everything. Students don’t want to have to use their time unless they absolutely have to. Teaching them ways to practice smart will be an invaluable tool for their musical development.
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