Monday, October 29, 2012

Ideas to encourage practicing the piano

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My daughter's Piano teacher lent me the book: Mommy, can we practice now, by Marie Parkinson.  I found a lot of great ideas to encourage children to practice without being prompted. Some of these ideas are from the book and some of my own:
A. The child can fill in one part of the dot to dot page every time they practice a song.
B. Roll a dice to tell them how many times to practice a song
C. Color in a section on a coloring page, every time they practice a song.
D. Child can pull puzzle piece out of a box, every time they practice.  When they have enough pieces, they can assemble the puzzle.
E. At Christmas time, The child can add an ornament to a small tree every time they practice a song.
F. Assemble a picture.  On a poster board draw a tree and ever time they practice the child can add a leaf to the tree.  Child can cut out leaves as a craft project.
I did a version of this, but made a flower.
I wrote the names of the songs on the flower petals and placed them in a cup.  Lillie would draw a petal out of the cup and play that song.  After playing the song, she would tape it to the flower stem.

G. Use board games to encourage practicing.  Child gets to add a game piece or draw a card from a game.
For example: Add a Cootie game piece, or Mr. Potato head piece.
H. Child adds a sticker or stamp to a card every time they practice a song.
I. Child can use a chart to mark each time they practice a song.  Once the chart is filled, they can redeem it for a special prize or activity.
J. Child can add a marble or coin to a container every time they practice a song. Once the container is filled, they can redeem it for a special prize or activity.
K. Put names of songs on spinning wheel.  Let child spin spinner to pick song.
L. Put names of songs on slips of paper and drop into a container.  Let child pull slip out of can and play song.
M. Every time a child practices a song, draw a part of the picture.  After several practice times, the picture is complete.
N. My pianist loves crafts.  She can add a bead to the string and build a necklace or bracelet.
O. Dot-to-Dot Song. I placed the song name next to each dot on the picture.  It mixed up the practicing order and it gave her a goal to achieve.

P. Pretend that they are putting on a performance.  Be sure to clap and cheer after every song.
Really, the best way to encourage your child to practice is to make a game out of it.
Q. Card game. Use 4 playing cards for the 4 lines of a song.  Ace=1st line, 2=2nd line, 3=3rd line, 4=4th lines.  Mix cards up and pull one out of the stack.  Play that line of music that matches the card.
R. Extra screen time. This week I wrote song names and the number of times to practice the song on index cards.  Lillie drew a card, played that song.  I also wrote the number of extra screen time minutes that she received for practicing that song on the card.  She earned an extra 25 minutes of screen time yesterday.
S. A spread sheet with each item that needs to be practiced that week. After the song or technique is practiced a sticker is placed in the box.

T. I list the songs or techniques that need to be practiced that day. I make a card for each day. I make each card different, so she doesn't get bored.
U. Cut out feathers with names of song or technique that needs to be practiced. After practicing that element, the feather is glued onto the turkey body that the child made. My daughter painted a paper plate orange, used a marker to make the turkey neck and head out of a toilet paper roll.

V. Make a copy of the piano music and cut it into sections. I placed the sections in a cup and my daughter drew them out of a cup. She plays the section of music and then places it back in the cup.

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