Making Practice Time Fun!
Finding motivation to practice can be hard – especially during the summer! With a lack of routine and/or schedule, practicing violin is easily forgotten! Here are a few suggestions to help make practicing more fun!
- "6" things a day - pick 6 things to practice. For example - 10 perfect bow holds (counts as 1 thing), some drill work on the working piece, 3 review pieces, preview for next piece.
- Birthday Candle - Light a birthday candle (make some type of holder) and have that be the length of the practice session.
- Violin Tour - take the student "on tour" --playing something different in each room of the house (the big tome produced in the bathroom is very exciting!), in a different place in the yard, or at different neighbor's or relative's homes.
- Student as Parent - Let the student be the parent for one day of practice. This can have mixed blessings because a parent will often see his own behavior reflected in that of the child's.
- 25 minutes = 25 cents - practice for 25 minutes, earn 25 cents.
- Recital - Plan a recital for stuffed animals, friends, family, etc. and make a program and decorate it. Practice for a week in preparation and let the child decide the pieces that will be played, what favorite cookies will be served, etc. Set up a stage and make a spotlight!
- Dice - Roll a dice to determine the number of repetitions of a piece or for drill work (ex - play this section the number of times you roll on the dice.) Or, roll the dice to determine the piece to play. Ex - 1 = Twinkle variation A, 2 = variation B, etc.) Buy a package of math dice - these dice have more sides with higher numbers.
- Deck of cards - like the dice game,, only use cards. Assign pieces to each card. Have child pick cards to determine the pieces to play and the order.
- Draw a name - write the piece names on pieces of paper. Put in a hat and draw to determine piece to play and order. Or put practice item on paper (bow holds, scales, etc.)
- Silly Cards - make silly cards and let child draw a silly card as a reward. Ex - stand on one foot, stick out your tongue, sing the piece, play pizzicato. For example, if child needs to play twinkle and draws "stick out your tongue," must play twinkle with tongue out the whole time. It's quite amusing.
- Make a video - regularly video tape your child playing violin. You'll be amazed at the progress they make.
- Chip Game - use "chips" (pennies, marbles, any kind of token). Set a goal - for example, keeping thumb bent while playing piece or keeping a good violin posture for entire piece. Give child and parent 5 chips each. If child meets goal, gets a chip from parent. If misses goal, parent gets a chip. Keep playing until someone has all of the chips.
- Draw a Picture - For those who love to color or draw pictures, pick out one of your Suzuki songs that you are working on or have recently worked on. Turn on the CD to that song and draw a picture of what the song makes you think of while listening. The picture can be a landscape, a person or an object that comes to mind when you hear that song! Then, once the picture is finished, practice that song while looking at your picture to try and express the picture through your music!
- Act out a Story - For those with wild imaginations, act out or make up a story. Use your family or friends to help act out other parts. Use different scales, songs or other things that you practice to help tell the story.
Click on the link below for a printable version of this list!
Other resources available in a printable format:
- Music Alphabet poster
- Twinkle cue cards