Monday, May 28, 2012

Practice Incentive Review

   I have two programs going in my studio that have been invigorating to many and ignored by others. The fact that they might have been ignored could be my own problem. Lesson time is precious and when we are learning I find it distracting to stop and ask if they recorded their practice minutes or if they brought their assignment sheet. My agenda just doesn't always pan out when that excited child comes through my door. But, my failings aside, after many months interest is rising due to the large chart on my keyboard.

   Each little sticker is a level of notes read correctly in just one minute. I add new notes or amount of notes at each level. It started like this.

   The Thousand Minute Club was a challenge, not because it is hard to practice 1000 minutes, but because it is hard to log minutes on the assignment sheet and bring it to lessons. I think I may be teaching responsibility and organization, as well. I am looking forward to trying something new after June, for the summer months.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Another Recital, Come and Gone

 It has been a week since my Spring Recital and I have processed the event. This recital was a success for everyone,which is not always the case. Often there a a few glitches for my students and it makes me anxious for them. In the last three weeks I found a duet arrangement of Hungarian Dance by Brahms which two of my beginning students were playing. Playing the whole piece for them always inspires a deeper love for their two-line simple version. I asked my High School students to play with me but as the day got closer they both felt unprepared. As we met at the recital venue one week before, to rehearse, I gave them a last ditch challenge. 
   " You may be given music to play at the last minute in the years ahead and this will require you to dig deep and go for it. If you back out because you are not perfect you'll miss opportunities to grow. We will stumble a bit next week but I have your back and I think the result will be positive."
  It was positive, not perfect, and it inspired my younger students to listen to original versions of their pieces.

  Another memory of this recital that was special was the grandchildren who played. Two sons had children playing and it makes my heart soar to see them progress and develop as musicians. Grace is the child who does video piano lessons with me every week. She was super excited to come to town to participate with her cousins.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Recital Programs

  I am trying out something new with my recital programs this year. The outside cover is somewhat under used and music can be a beautiful image in and of itself, so I am printing the first page of my student's compositions as the recital cover.

   Too busy? But what a kick to see their pieces in print. My student Anna just finished notating, with some assistance, her piece "The Wizard". It has a Hedwig's theme feeling. You can see it here. Click on resources at the left and find "The Wizard".
   Thank-you Wendy for the recital template. It worked very well and I appreciate your generosity. With one day away all there is to do is sit back and let it happen.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

1000 Minutes

  Some of my students have successfully practiced and logged 1000 minutes in the last three months. It seemed easy to me but the difficulty arose in writing down the minutes on their assignment sheet.

    I use a form graciously shared by Susan Paradis and to get credit for these minutes they must log them in the Practice Record.
  Congratulations Clara and Olivia for being the first to reach that goal.