Midwest Young Artists: Practicing

One of our students asked me the other day what we did during the summer.  Well, we've been as busy as during the regular year.  We are just finishing up four weeks of summer programs, and are getting as much planning done for next season as possible.  Here is a photo of students from the Chamber Music Camp at the Chicago Botanic Garden when they performed a concert on Tuesday. 

We're also cleaning out files, and I came across a something that might be of value to parents when they are trying to get their children to practice, or even motivated young musicians who might use an idea or two from this list of Forty-Five Fabulous, Fun Ways to Practice.  The list was submitted to the American String Teacher Magazine in May of 2001 by three teachers from Millard Public Schools in Omaha, Nebraska.

1.  Practice in the bathroom. (my children's favorite place)
2.  Practice outside.
3.  Play for someone special over the phone.
4.  Tape record your practice.
5.  Perform a family recital.
6.  Practice with lights off.
7.  Memorize your favorite song.
8.  Start your favorite song on a different note.
9.  Dance while you play.
10. Sing while you do the note fingerings.
11. Practice in slow motion.
12. Play twice as fast.
13. Practice with your eyes shut.
14. Practice in front of a mirror.
15. Produce a monthly music video starring you.
16. Play for your pet.
17. Create an animal sound on your instrument.
18. Wear a funny hat while you practice.
19. Make up a new rhythm.
20. Make up words to one of your songs.
21. Play "Name That Tune" with your little brother or sister.
22. Be the featured act in your home on Sunday for "Bagels and Band" ??
23. Play a song for your neighbors.
24. Practice before school.
25. Give a candlelight concert.
26. Walk while you practice.
27. Wear sunglasses while you practice.
28. Give yourself a reward for good practice.
29. Serenade your family chef while he or she prepares dinner.
30. Compose a song.
31. Dress in a costume for a song you know.
32. Stand while you practice.
33. Leave a "song" message on an out-of-state relative's answering machine.
34. See how long you can hold a note.
35. Practice in a new place.
36. Practice seven days in a row (or 100!).
37. Practice with a metronome.
38. Practice in your pajamas.
39. Practice with a timer.
40. Perform for "Popcorn and Pizza Night."
41. March while you play a scale or a memorized song.
42. See how many times you can play something in one minute.
43. Play duets with a friend over the phone.
44. Invite a friend to your house to practice.
45. Keep a practice record and brag.

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