February 2018: What will the Groundhog See?

Thank you all for starting the year with Flourishing Muse studio.  I am really enjoying seeing where all the students are headed in 2018.  I hope we are not headed for more wintery stuff – 11 inches of snow is enough for the season!  Can the Groundhog be kind!

I thought I might repeat some practicing advice and I am going to add a 6th point.   I am also going to write the points in language suitable for 5-8 year olds.

Practice:  It is a perennial subject in a studio.  How often, how long, in what order?  There is no one answer but there are a few ideas I would like to offer:

1. Regular works best, at least 5 out of 7 days a week. 

2. Regular times of day work best – some people can work it into their mornings, some afternoons, some evenings.  For kids, a practice plan with places to check when you practiced works well.  It probably works well for adults too! 

3. When you practice, do the hard work at the beginning and award your self enjoyable playing at the end.

4. I cannot practice without warming up.  If I try to go straight to the pieces I am always disappointed in how I play.  Warm ups I like are either Dozen a Day or Hanon. Two to five minutes will make a huge difference.

5. Make a list each week of the pieces you are going to work on.  I usually do this in your emails – maybe you can print them out or have them on your phone beside you (working on my set list this morning!

   6.    There is nothing like having a goal to motivate you to practice and polish pieces.  I do provide twice yearly goals for all students, as well as adult work-in-progress evenings and a new venture is a ukulele group night as I now have 8 ukulele players who need to meet each other.  I might also have a piano duet night later in the semester!  You can also set your own goals and tell me – I would be excited to help you meet your goals.

Practice points for the younger musicians:

  1. Practice 5 days each week (2 days off!)
  2. Choose mornings or afternoons or evenings and stick to it!
  3. Do your new pieces first and the ones you know later and then you can do “goofing off” piano style!  YOu could even compose some music to play for me – always give your pieces a name.
  4. Can Mom or Dad print out the emails I send?  See if they can help you see the lists I make each week.
  5. What are you going to play at the next Soiree in June?

Happy practicing!  I used not to like practicing when I was young but now I am so happy when I get time to sit down at the piano or ukulele or guitar and practice.