Practice Tip #5 — Watch them practice

If a piano student consistently returns to lessons unprepared it could be for many reasons.  But one of the possibilities is that the student simply does not know how to effectively practice at home.  So, take an entire lesson (or more than one lesson) teaching the student HOW to practice.  There is NO wasted time spent in those lessons if the end result is an excellent practicer between lessons!  Teach the student how to practice as you want them to do between lessons and then rehearse their practicing, by practicing in the lesson.  Observe how they approach practicing, what happens while they are practicing, and find ways to assist the student in having better quality practicing. 

If the student is able to demonstrate a clear understanding of how to practice at home (while in the lesson), then that is a problem well solved.  And then if the student returns unprepared, you certainly know it is not because they do not know how.  🙂  And then you can address other possible issues causing a lack of progress between lessons.

But it is best to always ensure that a student fully understands how to practice between lessons.  Simply telling a student to practice does not ensure that they have an understanding of how to produce good quality practicing at home.

And remember, quality practicing is far better than quantity (time) practicing!

Provide students with a fun and exciting way to practice elementary theory terms.  This crossword puzzle includes 10 early elementary music terms and definitions — tie, whole note, repeat sign, quarter note, half note, bar line, slur, double bar line, measure and staff.