What lesson / practice workbook or sheets do you use?

said: Oct 31, 2010
 63 posts

I’m in the middle of revamping my worksheets for lessons and was wondering what you use for assignments.

I usually ask parents for a quick highlight of that week, and have them give me their assignment sheets to place on the piano to run down during the lesson.

What do you use that’s working for you?

Ruth Brons said: Oct 31, 2010
Ruth Brons
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Livingston, NJ
148 posts

I love the practice booklets I make up each year for my students.

The front cover has a Repertoire Review Chart, which includes the core pieces I teach,
including some technical exercises and scales, divided into 6 columns,
plus room to write the big target pieces and scales for the year
[for solo or group concerts, or various auditions/exams, etc].
Students love to highlight the pieces they know on the review chart,
and I highlight each big target piece once I have covered them.
I promise the students I will get through those big pieces by Christmas,
so the rest of the year can be spent polishing them and covering new repertoire.
I love being able to just glance at a student’s review chart and see exactly
what I need to get our goals accomplished.

I include in the booklet the year’s group repertoire lists and a supplemental piece or two,
and also a year’s worth of practice charts in the booklet.
Each chart has a row for one column of review [from the review chart] each day,
plus a Working Piece, a Preview Piece, Orchestra/Reading, Polish Piece and Listening.
There is a check off column for each of the 6 days I ask students to practice between lessons,
plus a Bonus Column.
I also have a SmartMusic column, for students to notate if they do any work with that great program.

As I write in the weekly assignment at the end of the lesson, while the student is packing up,
I put a star by any item that I didn’t hear at the lesson,
as a promise to the student that I will try to hear that item at their next lesson.
That way I am hearing most everything the student is working on over every two lessons,
and I can quickly see by looking at the chart what I need to attend to first.

My students know I like to see their practice book while they are unpacking their violin —
which gives me a chance to remember/see what we need to do while I am praising them
for all the great practice check marks they made that week, and read any notes a parent might have written.
I make a point to praise any practice recorded, and also a point to never chastise missed practice.
I only complain when students practice and do not give themselves credit by making checks on the chart.

I reward with a sticker charts reflecting 6 practice sessions, no matter how short,
and also award extra stickers if the student got in a 7th “Bonus” practice, and/or worked with SmartMusic.
The students love to collect stickers in their practice books because 10 stickers earns them a small prize
[I use Smencils—scented pencils made out of recycled newspapers—as they are universally adored, useful, and don’t get shopworn in my teaching bag]

Best Wishes,

Sara said: Nov 3, 2010
191 posts

I make my own practice charts, and have one for each book level.

“What is man’s ultimate direction in life? It is to look for love, truth, virtue, and beauty.” Dr. Shinichi Suzuki

Diane said: Nov 7, 2010
Diane AllenViolin
245 posts

I’ve got free downloads:

Videos of student violin recitals and violin tutorials.

Leslie said: Mar 21, 2011
Leslie ThackerayInstitute Director
Suzuki Association Member
Taylorsville, UT
26 posts

I have lots if practice guides and charts on a little website I put together. It’s nothing fancy, but I hope it is useful for someone. Email me if you would like them in Word so you can customize it. http://www.thepracticeshoppe.com/downloadable-practice-charts

Leslie Thackeray
Make Practicing Fun!

Diane said: Mar 25, 2011
Diane AllenViolin
245 posts

Love your site!

I’ve found those chopstix to work magic with my students!

Keep me in touch!

Videos of student violin recitals and violin tutorials.

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

Thank you very much—many good resources there!

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

Cathy Hargrave said: Aug 1, 2013
Cathy HargraveTeacher Trainer
Suzuki Association Member
Rowlett, TX
50 posts

I have been in Heaven downloading all these free charts!! Thank you so much for all your creativity. That’s what we are all about—sharing resources for the benefit of our students!

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