Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Practice What You Must

We are 8 hard days from the end of the year report card auditions. The last week of pushing and striving to fix mistakes, get a steady tempo, increase the tempo, and polish the infinitely small details is upon us. The challenge is to keep them engaged, working and honing their ears and it is more than some can bear. They are tired of their pieces, wandering into spring sports, distracted by the beauty of the weather. I know all these feelings.

I love the way technology has improved communication mid-week. I used to have to wait a whole week to hear from parents or the student about an issue. Now a quick email or text and we're on the road to success!

I received an email from a parent earlier this week that the student was not practicing as she believed he should be this close to the exam. He surmised that if I had only written three items on his notebook that those are the only three things he needed to practice! That is the mind of a second grader. However, the student is performing ten pieces, scales chords and arpeggios for the exam. I wrote the following note to him, via his parent's email. I will see him in an hour. We'll see if it worked.

"Dear D.,
I'm so sorry I was not clear about what you are to practice right now. I have not been writing much in the front of your notebook because we have been so busy recording and working on 10, WOW 10, things for your report card.
For 9 more days I want you to practice your guild report card list in the back of your notebook with an ear to fix all the little mistakes. Go over all those chords, and scales, and other work. It's a lot to be ready. Use your music to see the details of dynamics and staccatos or accents. And then we will get new stuff after your awesome performance, ok?
I know that you are ready and that playing some of the same songs is a little hard, but it will be worth it! Only 9 more days, that's not so bad is it? I will see you on Wednesday and we'll talk in person too. Have a fun day,
Mrs. Wolf"


  1. What a positive way to reinforce what he needs to focus on. Let us know how it worked.

  2. Yes, I was just thinking the same thing as Ronda, please let us know if it worked.

    Beaches is a great movie and a tearjerker, but a lot of great songs came from it. And you picked the best. Thank you for sharing the video.

    God bless.


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