Saturday, 28 November 2015

7 Tried And Tested Tips That Will Get Your Music Students Practicing More

Your music students probably love to play their instruments, but if you’re like most music teachers, you’ve observed that practice seems to be a common challenge for most of them. As a music teacher, you want to see your students excel, so it’s important for you to find creative ways to encourage them to practice. You don’t ever want to come across as mean, overbearing or mad just because your student did not take the time to practice as expected. This will only worsen the situation, and a student could easily give up learning the instrument as a result. So how can you get your students to practice more? Here’s some ideas that I have used or have heard other well-known teachers implement. Some of these ideas will take time, but are worth it in the long run… Via NAfME Get to know your students Music is a lot more than a school subject. Equally, as a music teacher, you should be more than just a teacher to your students – be a friend. This is a tall order, but showing interest in your students’ lives builds trust.  When you bring the conversation outside of music, it shows you are interested in more than one aspect of who they are.  It shows you are about them as people. This can be as simple as noticing and talking about a special sticker on a student’s folder to complementing them on an accomplishment in another subject or sport. Via NAfME Don’t hesitate to correct your students A great tip I heard from a colleague (Mickey F.) was this: He tells his students making mistakes is fine, but make NEW mistakes! He doesn’t want to hear the same OLD mistakes over and over. To reinforce this, he uses different colored pencils to show them that they made an old mistake and he doesn’t want to hear that mistake again. Via NAfME Once you’re able to build trust, your students are more likely to accept constructive criticism positively. However, remember to give positive reinforcement as well, so your students are motivated to continue to improve. Involve the parents If the student keeps coming up with the excuse that they don’t have time, and they are of elementary school age, I wouldn’t hesitate to contact the parent via email or phone to find out more about the situation. I would explain that their child is falling behind in their learning and try to come up with a practice plan with that parent. Via NAfME Foster teamwork among your students When you get to the upper middle or high school level, contacting the parents will not be as effective. Using groups or teamwork for the upper grades can be helpful. Some teachers have had “competitions” amongst the sections in their ensemble to see who has been able to perform specific examples or pieces the most accurately or the quickest. Think of having prizes, possibly an end of the party during a group’s lesson time. Via NAfME [...]

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