As a follow up to last quarter’s article on “Keeping a Practice Journal,” I am offering the lesson/practice plan I use with my students.
I generally follow the sequence of skills that are listed on the sheet. A few notes of explanation:
“Music Stuff” includes translations, history, theory assignments and other general knowledge and vocabulary items.
I’ve found that “Playing Position” needs to be towards the top of the sheet since students need to keep in mind their body use throughout their practice sessions!
“Review” includes pieces that are being polished for performance and pieces that my Suzuki flute students maintain for group performances.
“Technique” can be whatever is needed—for a young student it may be a finger drill of D to C-sharp, for my advanced students it may be an entire section of Taffanel and Gaubert Daily Excercises, Reichert 7 Daily Excercises or Kujala Vade Mecum. (Or something else!)
The rest of the sections are self-explanatory, and I’ve included extra space for teacher comments on the “Current” section, which is where I most often have numerous things to point out/correct.
I like to keep students working on a little something new in the “Preview” section to stay motivated- this could simply be a listening assignment to compare multiple recordings of a single work, or isolate a very tricky section in advance of learning the entire piece.
After using many different practice records of my own design and many created by others, I’ve settled on this as my template for recording assignments, but the most important thing is to find one that works for you and the student.