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Design Your Own Practice Diary Tips

Posted by on Dec 12, 2016 in Design Tips | 1 comment

Music is an emotional, physical and mental activity.

When you are practising an instrument or singing, you can observe your responses to learning on these levels and use your insights to formulate the best way for you to progress.

The Music Made Easy Practice Diary is like a map and documents your learning experience helping you to stay motivated.

When you use the Diary you will create your own learning map and with this you will be able to navigate your music journey, giving you a greater chance of arriving safely at your various destinations.

If you are going to adjust the template, please make sure you consider these essential points.

1. A list of exercises

I have included some of the exercises I use for my students. There are various others and you will likely have some of your own to include.

The exercises which will always need to be practised, such as rudiments and scales, should actually be printed in the Diary.

These exercises are practised at different levels, for example faster or with more complex technique, but they are a constant in the routine, no matter how advanced a student is.

It is useful to put the exercises into one of the five main categories of music but you may need to change these categories depending on the instrument you are teaching.

For example, if you teach percussion, harmony would not be one of the main aspects your student needs to learn.

By dividing exercises into the main music aspects for your instrument you are making sure that the learning taking place covers foundations and are constantly being maintained.

Of course, some activities do have the capacity to exercise more than one area of music at the same time.  For example, scales with metronome is not only a technical exercise, it is also a harmonic and rhythmic exercise, so it is up to you in which category you wish to place it.

2. Space for individual exercises

To ensure the Diary can cater to individual needs and varying skill levels, each category of exercises has some blank space where you can write down additional activities depending on student needs.

Having space for this means the Diary is a flexible resource and can be used from beginner to advanced levels.

3. Tutorial notes

How many times have students said that they would know how to practise after a lesson but once they got home they were not able to because they forgot how?

We forget 70% of all newly learned information within the first 24 hours .  That’s why revision is such an important part of teaching and learning.

Using the Diary to make notes from the lesson gives the student clarification on how to do exercises when they are practising at home.

You can also use this section of the Diary to write the names of other resources or dates of concerts or performances by Wedding bands in Melbourne and any other relevant information your student needs.

The fact that these important notes are kept in one book means you and your student can look back and know what happened in the last lesson, giving you a better idea of how to continue in the next lesson.

4. Reflective journal

Encouraging your students to reflect every week on what is happening for them in music ensures you are helping them to develop self-evaluation and problem-solving skills.

Try to encourage your students to do this work as deeply as possible.

Their reflections give you insight into what is happening emotionally for them and will aid you in supporting their learning more effectively.

Some students may have difficulty reflecting but you can help them with this during the lesson by discussing points they have brought up and asking relevant questions.

I think it is also important that students know that they won’t disappoint you and get ‘in trouble’ if they don’t practise.

If you find a student is not practising, try to find out why and help them set realistic goals which may be just playing for five minutes every day.

5. Comments/Notes

Often questions arise during the week, which if not written down, may never get asked by your student.

This column provides a convenient space for them to write these down.

Basically, this space in the Diary is for your student to write notes for themselves including anything from what page they are up to in a textbook, or what key they practised that day to remembering what to put on their shopping list.

Providing them with a space to write these things means they don’t have to leave their practise and interrupt their concentration to write anything down, or worry about forgetting something.



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