To follow up on our two-week study of the best and worst ways to practice, I made a simple sheet to ask my students some questions about their own practicing. This has given me incredible insight into how they practice at home, and how to help them enjoy it more.
If you remember, I had gotten the handout and idea for my “group” game over at Sarah’s blog. She also had posted a sheet of questions that she used to follow up on the handout, but I felt my students needed something a little simpler. So I just gave them five easy questions to answer, and crossed my fingers that it wouldn't take them long to fill it out!
I have one student that is 7 and can’t read very well yet, so I asked him the questions orally. Because they are such simple questions, he didn’t seem to mind answering them out loud.
Here are some of the eye-opening answers I’ve received:
1. What is your favorite part of practicing?
-That after lots of practice I will be able to play without looking at the notes. (hmmm…)
-Exercises (Who would have thought? She does the Edna Mae Burnam prepatory book. And she actually spelled it “exersioses” - how cute!)
-Playing my songs
2. What is your least favorite part of practicing?
-hard songs that take a long time to learn.
-“Watch Your Step”
-You have to look everywhere (meaning there is a lot to think about and pay attention to!) (at least I hope thats what he meant!)
-That I have to keep switching my hands from left to right.
3. What makes it hard to practice?
-The lines and spaces
-Wanting to be doing something else
-Learning the new notes.
-To do everything right.
4. What is your favorite song to play?
-Love is patient
5. Have these practice tips helped you?
-So far they have all said yes!
So here is my question for you: How do you help your students enjoy their practice time? I know that they are not going to enjoy every song they have to learn, but overall, do your students enjoy practicing?