Summer Practice Tips and Tricks
The sun is out, school is out, and chances are that piano book is going to magically disappear now that recitals are over.
What do you do if you want your child to continue their musical education without taking lessons over the summer?
For all the kids who don't naturally gravitate toward the piano bench to practice on their own, we've compiled practice ideas for every week of the summer!
Week 1 - Remember that recital song? Have your child play it for you again. It should still be fresh in their mind and (hopefully) enjoyable to play. Once they've performed it for you, have them make up an alternative ending, or improvise in the middle.
Week 2- Most lesson books have a patriotic song or two in their pages, have your child find theirs and play it! Some suggestions would be: Yankee Doodle, Stars and Stripes Forever, The Star Spangled Banner, America The Beautiful, and Battle Hymn of the Republic. You can find free sheet music for most of these here, too.
Week 3 - Go back through the pages of the lesson book and have your child choose 3 of their favorite songs to play for you.
Week 4 - At this point practice might be getting tricky. Between summer camps, vacations, and all that running around outside, piano practice has likely taken a backseat. To get things back on track, ask your child to show you the first couple songs they ever learned, and then play them. They will be amazed at their progress!
Week 5 - Improvisation. Make up a song! There are several approaches to do this. For students who know what a C Major Scale is, ask them to create a song using only those notes. For younger students, have them make a song using only C, D, E or A, B, C.
Week 6 - Play a musical game! There are many free online resources which are parent friendly that will help to review basic concepts such as rhythms and note reading. Here are some of our favorites!
Week 7 - Ask your child to find the last song they remember learning in their lesson book. If it's a struggle have them practice it for a week. If they can play it smoothly have them turn the page, and try the next song (which will be brand new!).
Week 8 - Challenge time! See how many songs your child can still play from their book, or supplemental sheets from their folder. Make it a fun test with a reward at the end (ice cream, perhaps?).
We hope you've found these practice tips helpful! Feel free to leave a comment below!
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