I'm taking a break from the crafts today to share a great method for musical instrument practice review. It's not my usual bailiwick, but something that I wanted to share anyway!
*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.*
Lena has been playing violin for about a year and a half. She's young, so that means that I'm still heavily involved in her practice. One of the things we were struggling with was a way to work through her review songs. She is being taught with a modified Suzuki method, and part of that means that she must be able to play - by memory - all of the songs that she has previously learned. Between her Suzuki tunes and the other fiddle tunes that she has learned, she is up to about 25 songs. It was just getting too hard to keep up with them all!
So I made her a review jar filled with Fiddle Sticks, and it has been great so far! Fiddle Sticks is a classic review game that I've modified a bit to work with music practice. Here's how it works.
First, make your sticks. Paint craft sticks, front and back, about half-way down with paint. We used Crayola Glitter Paint because, you know, glitter. On the other end of the stick, use a Sharpie to write the names of the songs you need to review.
You can also color-code the sticks depending on the type of song. For us, Lena's Suzuki tunes are purple and her fiddle tunes are green. You could also do different books or difficulty levels in different colors.
I also include one stick that says, "Your Choice" and one stick that says "Mom's Choice."
Put all your sticks-- paint side UP-- in a jar. I have tons of Mason jars, but you could also just save and clean out a jam or pickle jar next time you have one empty.
When it's time for practice, draw a stick from the jar. Review the song. Put the stick back in the jar, but with the painted side DOWN. Play as many review songs as you need to, putting the sticks paint side DOWN as you finish them.
Since your sticks are color-coded you can easily choose a particular type of song if you need to. For example, Lena's teacher sometimes arranges opportunities for her students to play at community events. They almost always play fiddle songs at these types of event, so when one is coming up we will focus more heavily on the green (fiddle) sticks. Right now, Lena is nearing the end of her Suzuki book. She'll have to have a "book test" before moving on, so we're shifting focus away from fiddle songs and spending more time on the Suzuki pieces.
Go through all the review songs. It may take you 1 day or it may take you 10, depending on how many songs you review at a time. When you've gone through all the songs, you'll have a jar of sticks with the paint side down. Grab them. Flip them over. You're ready to start over!
You end up reviewing all your songs equally. You keep up with which one's you've done. No songs get neglected, and there's no whining about which songs to play! Easy peasy!
You May Also Be Interested In: