Practice Trackers: Encouraging Thoughtful Practicing at Home

practice-tracker-image-2-2Do you ever wish you could clone yourself and sit down with each and every student at home every day to ensure that they are practicing effectively? Practicing can make or break a student, and it is our job as teachers to teach students HOW to practice. A little kid (or any student, for that matter!) needs more guidance than “go home and practice” and it is up to us to give them specific instruction on practice methods.

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I recently created a “Practice Tracker” for my students to help them and their parents remember some steps to good, thoughtful practicing and to help them consistently use these steps at home. I focused on four different elements of a piece when making these trackers – fingering, notes, rhythm, and expression. Each tracker has specific steps for learning a new piece and practicing that piece at home. After printing, cutting out and laminating the tracker, students use a clothespin to track their progress during their practice session. This can also help parents become better involved in practice sessions of young students because they can help read through the steps and know how to encourage good practicing.

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I have included four different practice trackers in the set that is now available for purchase from my Shop. One of them is for young beginners who are playing pre-staff notation pieces, and it helps students to becoming “music detectives” and look for clues in their pieces to help them learn their music. The next is for elementary-level students and has more detailed steps on how to practice each element of the piece. The third is for intermediate to advanced students who are learning a new piece that includes detailed steps for each element of the music. The last is a very simple tracker that simply lists the elements to work on in order; this one is great for any age and level but is especially helpful for young students.

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My hope is that by using these trackers, our students will become more conscientious, self-motivated practicers and will progress with more confidence through their pieces. Come visit the Shop for this and more great resources for your students!

Happy practicing!!

Jennifer Boster

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