Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Big Ear Contest

I recently got an e-mail from someone frustrated that her students didn't understand the importance of listening.  Of all the many discoveries that Dr. Suzuki made about young children learning to play an instrument LISTENING is one of the big ones.  I recently found this blog with a great little article on listening.  I've seen the benefits first hand with myself and my own children.  How can a child learn well WITHOUT listening?

So....here was my reply.

I've always wanted to do this, but haven't - lack of time, I guess (isn't that always the excuse these days!)  Anyway, I was thinking of having a "Big Ear" contest.  I have a chart on my website for this.  A student would mark an ear for every hour they listened.  There could be some sort of time requirement (1 month - or something like that) and everyone who finished the chart in that period of time would be the winners.  You could have some sort of award for the winners.  One award I've thought of for some of my students who accomplish big tasks are the earbuds I have on my site.  They are cute and perhaps it's not something they have.  It would encourage more listening.  Here is the link to the page with the Big Ear chart.  

Hope this helps!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

More Ideas for Review

I gave all my older kids this paper to remind them of some other creative ways to review.  They each have two different lists in their practice book that they can use....or do one of these ideas.  I can't force them to review, and I figure if they want to do it it'll be more beneficial.  I find that when I remind my older daughter to review she enjoys it quite a bit.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

What time do you practice?

At the beginning of each school year I give a paper to my students with a student plan that asks them to list three goals they have for the year.  I also ask the question, "What time will you practice this year?"  I really think it is important to schedule practice time because life gets in the way and it will always put off if it's not part of the schedule.

I've practiced with my kids at all times including 8:00 p.m. (which was terrible.)  Now that I have two kids in grade school that need to practice I've told them that their practice time is in the morning before school (6:15 & 7:00.)  So far...so good!

The first day of school was great because the kids were excited for school.  The second day we were all tired and it was hard.  I'll admit tears were shed that morning.  But after school that day the girls enjoyed reading, playing on the computer and painting.  As they were painting and laughing I mentioned how nice it was that they could enjoy their afternoon instead of being tied down to practicing.  They both admitted that it was nice.  Each morning has been good ever since.  Work first, play later is our motto each morning.