Four and five year old students
GOAL: To develop the practice habit, starting with 5-10 minutes/day.
- Groups of notes are circled with colored markers to indicate patterns.
- “Brain Practice” is thinking about the music before playing starts so that the right notes are played,
- Each colored group is played 3 times: once with the music, once looking at hands, once with eyes closed).
- Groups are combined when they can be played 2 times consecutively without mistakes.
- Listening to the CD many times will help students hear and fix their own mistakes.
Elementary School Students
Goal: Start with 15-20 minutes a day, work up to 30 minutes by 3rd grade.
The Alphabet System
- Work with the teacher to mark the piece into short sections labeled A, B, C, D, etc.
- Write the letters on small pieces of paper and put them in baggie or paper cup kept at the piano.
- Pull one letter out of the bag. Play the RH until you have done it 2 times consecutively with no mistakes. Then play the LH until it’s been done consecutively 2x with no mistakes. Then play HT twice with no mistakes. Then move on to the next letter. The idea is to get students to think before they play, since that will shorten the time it takes to get through all of the letters.
Variations on the Alphabet System
Pull letters out of the cup above, and maintain the rule of playing twice with no mistakes.
- One day play everything faster than the marked tempo.
- One day play everything slower than the marked tempo.
- One day play everything forte (with beautiful round sound, not harshly).
- One day play everything pianissimo (but not wimpy!).
- One day do the first rep on your legs (silent or brain practice), then do it on the piano with your eyes closed (no mistakes).
- One day open the music on the floor next to the bench and when you pull your letter see if you can play the section from memory.
***Music should always be on the rack when students are practicing. ***