Making the Most of Practice
1. Use a metronome- EVERY SINGLE music student should have a metronome and be using it weekly.
2. Break the song into smaller sections and practice each section individually.
3. Set small goals within a piece. For example, strive to learn the first ten-fifteen measures of a piece well (in one practice session), rather that trying to learn the whole piece in one sitting.
4. Start with the hardest section first then work towards the easiest. You will typically have the most mental energy in the beginning of your practice sessions.
5. Play the piece at varying tempos
6. Play the piece with varying articulation (staccato, legato, etc.)
7. Start playing slowly and gradually increase (by two clicks, each time, on the metronome) up to performance tempo.
8. Have a parent point at the notes as they are being played to help the child learn to track better.
9. Designate a practice space that is quiet and find a time where there won’t be distractions.
10. Do all the suggested warm-ups to start every practice session (including scales). These are designed to build dexterity, flexibility, and endurance and kids will skip them if you let them.
11. Use a timer for practice sessions.