Thursday, September 23, 2010

How to Practice with a Twinkler

It's been three weeks of practicing with my daughter and I'm reminded of some very important steps to practicing with a small twinkler.

1. Make it short - most 3, 4, and 5 year olds are not used to standing still for very long. The time will gradually lengthen during practicing, but at the beginning make it short and consistent so they have a good experience with practicing. If it's drudgery from the beginning you will not succeed.

2. Make it fun - There is no problem with using fun practice charts, toys, and treats with practicing. My daughter gets so excited for her 1 candy corn after practice. So far her teacher has given her some simple chart to X off each day. This week we have a 25 chart to complete for her new song, Pop Goes the Weasil. Wands, toys, animals, etc. all make practicing fun for a little child. Think of their preschool class...they aren't sitting in desks all day learning their colors and shapes - they're learning in a fun environment. Make that fun environment at home.

3. Do it over and over and over and over and over again - If your practicing is short you can do it a lot of times throughout the day. The first week my daughter just had to bow, clap the rhythms, make a simple fox with her bow hand, and hold her violin up with her chin. All together that took about 5 minutes. We'd do it all over after she did everything once. If she was still focused we'd do it all over a third time. Then later that day we'd show dad what she was practicing and do it again once or twice. That's practicing everything FIVE times each day. What a great way to start getting geared up for repetitions - which any person learning an instrument will have to do A LOT of!

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