Practicing over vacation?

Laura said: Jan 7, 2008
Suzuki Association Member
358 posts

This is an open question to parents and teachers:

Does anyone practice while on vacation? Is it expected?

I’m not talking about significant times off school such as summer and Christmas vacation. I’m talking about literally going away on vacation, i.e. travelling. Do you take the violins on the plane and practice in the hotel rooms? Do you play the piano at Grandma’s while visiting her from out of town? Or is a vacation literally a vacation?

I’m just curious about everyone’s takes on this.

said: Jan 7, 2008
 4 posts

We try to practice on vacation because if we don’t practice every day, it just makes it more difficult to get started again. BUT, my daughter plays piano, so unless we are going somewhere with a piano, it is a bit difficult! We are going to Mexico in February and I doubt we will be practicing all week.


Robyn said: Jan 25, 2008
Robyn BauerViolin
18 posts

I try to urge my students to bring their violins with them on vacation (especially if they are visiting family, it’s a treat for grandparents to hear them play!) However, I understand that sometimes it’s just not possible. In those cases, I ask them to listen to the recordings every day and try to follow along in the book as they listen. I’ve been known to get some good mental repetitions of difficult passages and bowings by “practicing in my head.”

said: Feb 4, 2008
 18 posts

We take the violin to grandparent’s houses. They love it. On the other hand, we found trying to practice in a hotel an utter disaster. In the end, any loss of progress due to not practicing on vacation was more than made up for by my child being refreshed and excited to play again upon returning home.

Angela said: Sep 14, 2008
Suzuki Association Member
York Springs, PA
41 posts

I encourage my violin students to take it a long but I know that’s not always going to happen so I encourage them to do extra listening. I will also suggest them to take their book and air practice. Sometimes a good old fashion break does them a world of good. Especially if the family doesn’t travel much.

Angela Schlessman

said: Sep 14, 2008
 8 posts

Our vacations are crazy-hectic—we go to a family camp where there are activities all day long, not to mention little cousins swarming all over our cabin. Even if my daughter found the time & energy for practicing, I’d still be afraid of something happening to her violin! However, this year we did bring a mandolin with us, and she had a lot of fun playing Suzuki songs on it, so I guess it wasn’t a total loss. ;-)

I think a one-week break in August isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s nice to break up the summer, and when we return we feel ready for a “fresh start.”

P.S. I am so happy to have found this discussion board. I’ve been lurking for a while, reading the posts and learning so much. :D

Jennifer Visick said: Sep 15, 2008
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki Early Childhood Education, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
1069 posts

Nothing wrong with a break, as long as parents and students understand that they will lose some ground by not practicing regularly, and they will have to make this up by going over things that have already been taught before the break began.

sometimes I encourage students to have “seasons” of practice, where they focus on music as a high priority, and in return I understand that they will also have seasons where other things take higher priority and practice may fall by the wayside during those seasons.

I also explain the idea that listening to songs that have already been learned is just about the next best thing to practicing them, if an instrument is not available to practice with.

said: Nov 4, 2008
 63 posts

For my piano students, I encourage them to play for relatives (if that’s where they’re headed).

I did have two students head to Walt Disney World for two weeks, and they motivated each other to play whenever there was a piano. The really great thing that happened was they promised to do their listening every day—which they did—in the car on the way down, and every day.

When they returned two weeks later, we hadn’t lost any ground (although we hadn’t gained any, either!). Both of them were about 11 or 12 years old and in book 3/4.

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