During the Fall and Spring Semesters, students receive instruction in groups. In order to make significant progress, though, it is essential that all students also practice daily at home. Practice assignments are not long, and are typically quite manageable for students who practice faithfully. It is extremely important that each student has a daily practice schedule and adheres to it from the very beginning of the academic year so that they experience success and keep up with the pace of their group class.
Students in Mini-Maestros and Musica Primaria do not receive formal assignments, but singing at home is encouraged!
Students in Concert Choir and Drums, Flutes, & Ukuleles classes receive short assignments each week, and are expected to practice at least 5 to 10 minutes each day at home. They are to complete and return a Practice Plan card each week, following the guidelines below.
Students in Beginner's String Orchestra, and Beginner's Band receive specific assignments each week. They are to complete and return a Practice Plan card each week, following the guidelines below. Each practice session should last at least 20 minutes (more if some days were missed during that week).
Students in Concert Band, Concert Orchestra, Symphonic Band, and Philharmonic Orchestra classes are expected to develop their own practice plan each week. They are to choose 1 section of 5 pieces that we are rehearsing in class, and practice each of those sections 3 repetitions each day. If they are able to play the notes and rhythms perfectly, they should focus on higher-level concepts (i.e. intonation, sound quality, dynamics, expression, articulation, etc.). They are to complete and return a Practice Plan card each week, following the guidelines below. Each practice session should last at least 20 minutes (more if some days were missed during that week).
Practice Plan Cards
Each student (except for Mini-Maestros and Music Primaria students) is expected to turn in a Practice Plan card at class each week. Each student should be sure to complete the form throughout the week at home, and to ask a parent for a signature at the end of the week (before attending class). These cards help the instructor evaluate each student's progress and ensure each student continues to grow musically. They also help the parent verify that their child is developing healthy practice habits.
Students are expected to practice their assignment (or "Practice Plan") at home by playing through each part of their assignment/plan at least 3 times daily (in one practice session per day). This will add up to at least 21 total repetitions per week.
If a student misses a day of practice, they are to practice a little extra on the other days so that they complete at least 21 repetitions during the week in total.
Effective practice always requires a little struggle while we strive for perfection - similar to assembling a puzzle. Without any struggle, there is never growth.
Practicing can be enjoyable, but only if it is done regularly (daily). In other words, the more a student practices, the more they will enjoy practicing. Practicing leads to achievement and confidence, and we all enjoy doing things we are good at!
[Printable Blank Practice Card]
[Practice Card Example]