Although we’ve been using the following practice ideas for a while, it seems like a good idea to leave the information up as a reference:
The Mastery 3 part of practice is getting a couple of tweaks. It’s such an important part of daily practice, helping to move techniques into the “automatic” part of the brain, so there’s more brain power to devote to learning new pieces. The first new idea is the recorded piece of the week. Thank you to Dr. Lily Im (Julia’s mom) and Maryland Suzuki teacher James Hutchins for this one! Each week, record your child playing a Mastery 3 piece, up to and including 3 pieces before their newest one. I can help choose, but it’s more than fine for your child and/or you to choose. Send it to me via email or text. As we proceed, you may want to consider having a way to store these recordings. They make great keepsakes, they’ll be a record of progress, and they could be fun to share with family that live out of town.
The second idea is the 6o minute review plan, and thank you again to James! For those students in late Book 1 and up, I’ll give assignments from Mastery 3 that address specific technique and musicality points related to one piece beyond your child’s newest piece. The 60 minute review plan needs to be completed the week before its corresponding new piece gets assigned. Please do continue with listening assignments. The more you listen, the faster you memorize. As simple as that.
As always, if you have any questions, or have an idea to share too (your own or someone else’s), let us know. We all learn from each other, and I’m happily reminded of that almost daily. Plus, again, none of us want to miss anything good!
Here are the tips for keeping a +100 chart. Subject possibilities include:
- A nugget of the newest piece, which can be as small as 2 notes.
- A section of a polishing piece (Mastery 2), which can be from one to several phrases long, with one technique or musical point emphasized.
- A play-through of a Mastery 3 or 2 piece, again with one technique or musical point emphasized.
- A task related more to behavior, such as listening to the recording, or getting the violin out at the agreed upon time “fuss free”.
A +100 chart can last a long time, particularly for charts devoted to play-throughs of large sections or entire pieces. There have been some Twinklers calculating for +5, +10, etc. x n days = 100. More math is never a bad idea.
For work on whole pieces, try recording the piece twice: Once before the +100 chart is started, and another on completion. If the piece is at least 3 before the newest piece, it will absolutely count as recorded piece of the week.
For a repetition to “count”, make sure it demonstrates the requested technique point. If you keep it to just that, the goal is more concrete, and therefore more fun. Also, you’ll notice other stuff will get easier and clearer as you go along. Collateral benefits are a pleasant surprise.
For larger sections and play-throughs, having its one point demonstrated most of the time is sufficient. An example might be getting through with fewer than 3 rings from a bell/ clicks from a clicker, etc. If that’s too hard, you’ll probably find that the same spot(s) is/are responsible for the slip-up. In that case, make a new +100 chart for just the “hard part”.
Remember to tell me any news about your child (musical or not) that could use a little recognition and celebration on our home page. It would be great if we could make this a regularly updated feature. All of the Twinklers have something that shines!