Reviewing in lessons

Barb said: Jul 21, 2011
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
Cello
678 posts

Last spring I realized that I needed a more organized method for reviewing pieces in lessons when I found two of my students had forgotten pieces. I assumed they had been reviewing them at home, but apparently not, and I, too, had missed reviewing them in lessons.

I have attempted to address the home review with the parents, and for lessons I am making charts for each student so I can keep track of what is reviewed in each lesson.

In the past I have either chosen review which I knew they needed to do, or they sometimes would fish for a random review pieces, or sometimes they would choose a favorite. I think with the chart I can continue to do that, but it will be more apparent if some are getting left out, and I can make sure everything is getting covered over a period of weeks. I also hope to add group lessons once a month, which will facilitate more review.

I would like to hear how other teachers handle review in lessons, especially what you do to make sure some pieces are not neglected.

Barb
Music Teachers Helper—for individual teachers
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Ruth Brons said: Jul 22, 2011
Ruth Brons
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Livingston, NJ
148 posts

Each fall I have our local office supply store print and bind up Practice Books for my students. My students are already looking forward to getting their new books in September.
I include some scale pages, some supplemental sheet music and a year’s worth of practice charts.
But the front page, under a clear plastic cover, is a Combined Review Chart.
The Combined Review Chart sometimes changes a little bit from year to year, but here is a link to a copy of last year’s version: https://s3.amazonaws.com/teacher-files-musicteachershelper-com/2966/CombinedReviewChart.pdf
I try to include on the chart most everything I plan to teach up through Book 4, with space to also plot out solo, group and ASTA requirements that we need to keep on the front burner. [It really helps me to have the year’s goals that the student and I have agreed on in September available at a glance!]
Before hitting the Working, Preview, Polish, Ensemble/Reading pieces, and Listening listed on their weekly practice charts, students warm up each practice by playing all the way down a column, or until they don’t know any more pieces in the column.
Younger students absolutely love the ceremony of coloring in the boxes of the pieces they have learned [and counting them!].
If the students play down a different column each day, then over the course of the week they will have hit all of the foundation repertoire and memorization happens over time.

I tend not to bother my intermediate and advanced students about reviews other than what’s on the chart, except for group and solo repertoire that comes up in weekly group class.
In the month or two prior to solo concerts, we often run student’s selected solos with our accompanist.
Students often elect to play their selected solos “With Friends”, meaning that everyone in the class is welcome to play or read along—great for review and preview.

Sydney Howell said: Jul 22, 2011
Sydney Howell
Suzuki Association Member
Harp
Fort Worth, TX
1 posts

Re review pieces, which are so important. In the small but growing Suzuki harp world, we use a weekly calendar review sheet, which Mary Kay Waddington originated for each book. There are several review pieces (in the early books) selected for each day of the week, so that each piece is reviewed at least once during the week. For review assignments, I tell the student that I will hear selections from “Monday” review, “Tuesday” review etc. I expect them to review everything during the week, but generally I can depend that they will review every piece on the day assigned for the lesson as a minimum. If they don’t, we do it at the lesson!

Sydney Howell

Diane said: Jul 25, 2011
Diane AllenViolin
245 posts

You could pretty much have the same conversation about listening.

In addition to review charts I may just have to rename the chart to review and listening chart!

Smiles! Diane

Diane
http://www.myviolinvideos.com
Videos of student violin recitals and violin tutorials.

Patricia said: Jul 25, 2011
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Martinsville, NJ
58 posts

I don’t do lot’s of review at lesson—just review that will help the lesson along (techinque or musical)…. But, I have group class every week and we do lot’s of review there…. I play games along the lines of “name that tune” to make sure they are listening…. and name the composer to make sure they remember the names of the composers of each piece. Some Fridays—I surprise the students with a Review Marathon. I also use a review chart in the practice booklets I make for my students. (I think the review chart Ruth has posted is the 1 I use too…. it’s been floating around for years…. I don’t remember who gave it to me? Maybe Lorraine Fink or Alice Joy Lewis.) There are other things I do to have fun with review…. this summer we had a casual recital in June—then this month—we did a Redo-Recital… meaning all the students played the same song they did in June…. they thought it was funny—but you know what—every student said they liked this month better. In May—we had a Review Contest… where every student who participated got a prize of some sort… and in the Fall—we do a 1 Book lower Casual Recital-Pizza Party. (where the students have to perform something 1 book lower then what they are in). I don’t ever have sugary things to eat at Recitals—but we do get Pizza a few times a year and Subway a few times a year. Good Luck with your students…. lessons are so much fun!

Barb said: Jul 25, 2011
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
Cello
678 posts

Thanks everyone for your replies and ideas.

My students also have review charts for at home practice. And I was believing they were being used, but the truth came out when near the end of the year I had them review everything in lessons.

Those working on the first eight pieces of book 1 are supposed to review everything every day, as they get further along the list is divided into two and then three groups, so they alternate lists depending on the day. But two students seemed to conveniently miss the pieces they didn’t like all that much. So I will be implementing a way to make sure that I am regularly reviewing everything in lessons or group lessons.

Ruth, your chart looks great for covering more books. I’ll probably implement one like that for mine who are beyond book 1. I know I have seen similar type review lists on practice charts made by someone here… but I can’t find the link at the moment. I just have to adapt for cello and the pieces I supplement.

Thanks again everyone!

Barb
Music Teachers Helper—for individual teachers
Studio Helper—for entire music studios or schools

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